The Laguna Niguel City Council held a special meeting Tuesday with Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa) to discuss his views and work on various issues, should he be elected as the congressman for the newly redrawn 48th Congressional District.
That new district will include Seal Beach, Sunset Beach, Fountain Valley, Midway City, parts of Huntington Beach, Costa Mesa, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Laguna Niguel, Aliso Viejo, and portions of Garden Grove, Santa Ana and Westminster.
Rohrabacher currently represents the 46th District, which jogs from Costa Mesa to Huntington Beach up to Long Beach and Palos Verdes, but redistricting tied to the Census has him seeking reelection in changed territory.
Rohrabacher, who announced in June he would run for reelection in 2012, took questions from the council members.
In response to a question asked by Councilman Joe Brown on where major budget cuts will come from, Rohrabacher said he wasn't in favor of the U.S. deficit "super committee," made up of six Democrats and six Republicans who are tasked with slashing the federal deficit.
"I voted against the super committee," Rohrabacher said. "I don't think it will accomplish anything. I'll be pleasantly surprised if it does.
"Right now our country isn't going anywhere because we have two philosophies that are at a head with each other," he added. "Both sides think that what they want to do will make the country better. It's pretty hard to find a compromise."
Councilwoman Linda Lindholm voiced concern about needed transportation funds for the city.
"We have a landlocked city," she said, noting that the Santa Ana (5) and Corona del Mar (73) freeways are the major roads used to get in and out of Laguna Niguel, and if something happened to them it could be a real problem.
"We could use help with our interchanges," Lindholm said, adding that transportation improvements would also benefit Laguna Beach and Dana Point.
Rohrabacher said he is very supportive of helping the city with transportation issues and funds, but he didn't know how far he would be able to go to help the city get the transportation money it needs.
"Budget cuts aside, I'll be meeting with you (if elected) more than once a year to determine what your needs are and do what I can to put pressure on the powers that be to get that done," he said.
Another big issue, brought up by Councilman Robert Ming, concerned illegal immigrants and the recent signing by Gov. Jerry Brown of Assembly Bill 1236, the Employment Acceleration Act of 2011.
The new law prohibits "the state, or a city, county, city and county, or special district, from requiring an employer other than one of those government entities to use an electronic employment verification system except when required by federal law or as a condition of receiving federal funds."
"Illegal immigration issues are one of the biggest I have worked on for years," Rohrabacher said. "It's a national security issue and it affects the quality of life for my constituents."
Rohrabacher went on to say that illegal immigrants affect everything from car accidents with uninsured drivers to the loss of wages and jobs.
"We have every race and ethnicity here," he said. "We have no apologies to make."
Illegal immigration is a local and national issue, according to Rohrabacher.
"We're going to lose our country. Our loyalty has to be to the American family," he said.
Other issues Rohrabacher said he's involved with are science and foreign affairs, as well as water quality.
Water quality may already be seeing some improvement, he said.
During a recent surf session at Doheny State Beach, Rohrabacher said he noticed the water quality was better now than a few years ago.
When it comes to foreign affairs, he said that although he supported President Bush's decision to invade Iraq, he believes it was the worst mistake made.
"I don't believe in sending troops all over world," he said. "That's a great disservice to them and our country."
His efforts in foreign affairs include working on troops not getting deployed into what he called "mission impossible."
"That doesn't mean I don't support taking on our enemies," he added.
He referred to his time working for President Reagan, whom he said didn't deploy troops all over the world.
"The one time (we were sent into) Beirut, (Reagan) got our butts out of there," Rohrabacher said. "To stay would have been a quagmire ... that's the way to do it and succeed."