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Gavin Newsom-Abel Maldonado debate: Immigration

October 7, 2010 |  3:23 pm

In their first debate, California lieutenant governor candidates Gavin Newsom and Abel Maldonado discussed the issue of immigration.

Newsom said "immigration has been the strength of this region." He said immigrants make up "the backbone of this state," and called for the lifting of visa limits for students.

Newsom said Maldonado "supported Prop. 187 and stood side-by-side with Pete Wilson," a charge Maldonado denied.

Maldonado said he opposed Proposition 187, and said his connection to the immigration measure was a personal one. "I am the son of an immigrant field worker," he said.

Maldonado called for a comprehensive federal immigration reform package. He said Newsom's policy of making San Francisco into a so-called sanctuary city has set back the cause of comprehensive reform. "They always point to San Francisco" when making the case against immigration reform, Maldonado said.

-- Anthony York