SACRAMENTO — California would create its own border patrol of more than 1,000 officers and volunteers under a possible 2006 ballot initiative introduced Wednesday by conservative activists and a state assemblyman.
The California Border Police Act was submitted to Atty. Gen. Bill Lockyer for legal review Wednesday, the first step in getting it qualified for next year's June ballot.
Its main sponsor is Assemblyman Ray Haynes, a Republican from Murrieta, who must collect 600,000 valid signatures for the initiative to qualify.
"The federal government has proven itself incapable of securing our borders, so it is time for Californians to step up and take matters into our own hands," Haynes said.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is not connected with the initiative effort and is not commenting on it, his office said.
Political consultant Dave Gilliard, who is organizing the signature-gathering effort, said the new immigration police force would report to the governor and hire 1,000 to 2,000 new officers at an estimated cost of $300 million. It also would allow the state to train volunteers to patrol the border.
The measure would ask California voters to declare a state of emergency on immigration and renew that emergency status in 10 years through another ballot measure.
Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, a Democrat from Los Angeles, said if a new police force required "spending more state dollars, I think we have to take a second look at that because we do have to be fiscally prudent."