San Diego mayoral candidates weigh in on State of the Union - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

San Diego mayoral candidates weigh in on State of the Union

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    San Diego Special Election

    A special election for the city of San Diego will take place on February 11, 2014. Check out related stories, videos and links on CBS 8's resource page. 
    A special election for the city of San Diego will take place on February 11, 2014. Check out related stories, videos and links on CBS 8's resource page. 

SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - San Diego mayoral candidates weighed in on President Obama's message about immigration and minimum wage increase in his fifth State of the Union speech Tuesday night.

"Join the rest of the country, say yes. Give America a raise," said President Barack Obama.

In his push for minimum wage he says he will issue an executive order to raise minimum wages for new federal contractors to $10.10, but he needs Congress to pass a nationwide plan.

"Do what you can to raise employee wages," said President Obama.

In California minimum wage will rise from $8 to $9 in July and then $10 in 2016. San Diego politicians are already looking at ways to increase wages. Two weeks ago, Interim Mayor Todd Gloria's called on the council in his State of the City speech to put a measure on the November ballot increasing minimum wage in San Diego.

Mayoral candidate David Alvarez says he is working with Gloria on a minimum wage increase plan in San Diego and hopes it will be at least $10 - before California's $10 wage increase.

"We have to make sure that we strengthen the middle class and we create a stronger middle class. We are squeezing them out and we're not giving them opportunities," said Alvarez.

His opponent, Kevin Faulconer, said he wants a consistent rate across the country and not city-by-city.

"It's very important that we have clear rules of the road and that we are putting San Diegans back to work," said Faulconer.

Critics say minimum wage increases do not create new jobs.

Another hot issue for San Diegans is immigration reform. In the president's 2013 State of the Union he called for immigration reform but no new strong policies were formed on Capitol Hill.

"If we're serious about economic growth, it is time to heed the call of business leaders, labor leaders, faith leaders, law enforcement -- and fix our broken immigration system," said President Obama.

He dedicated a short paragraph to immigration and San Diego mayoral candidates say immigration reform is vital for America's finest city.

Faulconer says last year he co-authored a resolution calling on Congress for immigration reform.

"I will go back to Washington D.C. to say we need to get this done," said Faulconer.

Alvarez says he wants non-citizens serving in the military to be gain citizenship.

"We have to be comprehensive and it can't be a piecemeal approach," said Alvarez.

The mayoral election will be held Tuesday, February 11.

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