California Republicans are split about a potential ballot measure that would enforce Arizona-like immigration laws.
According to The Los Angeles Times, some conservatives believe an effort to adopt strict anti-illegal-immigration policies may create a chasm between the GOP and Latinos, which are the fastest-growing segment of California's electorate. Voters in the Golden State bucked national trends in the midterm elections by siding with Democratic candidates.
On the other hand, some Republican strategists in California believe that an uncertain stance on immigration will hurt the party in the long run.
"That to me is the bigger problem," Mike Spence, a conservative activist, told the news provider. "I don't see how we can be damaged more than we already are."
The California proposal, known as the Support Federal Immigration Law Act, needs more than 400,000 signatures by April 21, 2011 in order to qualify for the 2012 ballot.
Meanwhile, the group Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS) has launched a TV campaign that advocates for reduced levels of legal immigration and temporary worker permits until the state's unemployment rate improves. The advertisements claim that the Federal government continues to allow legal immigrants and temporary workers into California despite unemployment rates that require the state to borrow $40 million per day to pay unemployment benefits.