A proposed ballot measure in California would establish a new California border police to enforce federal immigration law.

The initiative’s author, state Sen. Ray Haynes, a Republican, hopes the initiative will gain enough signatures to qualify for the ballot next year.

An anti-illegal immigration group, Rescue California, is helping to promote the measure, which is titled “California Border Police Act.”

Promoters say a federal law passed in 1996 authorizes states to enforce federal immigration law. The little-known law allows local officers to be trained to enforce immigration law under agreements negotiated with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Included in the enforcement would be action against employers who hire illegal aliens.

“The initiative is comprehensive, statewide and uniform,” Haynes told the San Diego Union-Tribune. “It addresses the supply and the demand side, both the employers who support illegal immigrants and the illegals who come across the border.”

According to the proposal’s website, the initiative would save state taxpayers “at least $10 for every one dollar it costs” to fund the new law-enforcement agency. It has been estimated that California taxpayers pay several billion dollars every year to fund services used by illegal aliens.

Besides rounding up illegal immigrations and cracking down on employers, the new force would be authorized to build prisons especially for apprehended aliens.

Calling the tide of illegal aliens into California an “emergency,” the proposition places the new agency under the office of Emergency Services.

States the initiative: “The Division of Homeland Security Assistance, Homeland Security Program, also to be known as the California Border Police, is hereby established in the Office of Emergency Services or its successor, under the direction of the Director of the Office of Emergency Services or his or her successor, or his or her designee.”

Art Torres, the state Democratic Party chairman, said enforcement of the border and illegal-immigration laws should be left to the federal government.

“To hire a whole new law enforcement doesn’t make sense from a cost perspective or a jurisdictional perspective,” he told the San Diego paper.

The new agency, one organizer predicted, would have 1,000 to 2,000 law-enforcement officers.

Note: Read our discussion guidelines before commenting.