But Coyotes coach Jeff Oliver isn’t giving either team a free pass to Monday’s title tilt. “There are a lot of talented teams in the field,” he said. “No one is going to have an easy game. It is a very balanced field with every team capable of winning it.” Because the Cal State San Bernardino men’s basketball team must make the 800-mile trek to the remotely located rainforest that is Humboldt State University, it can do so knowing it is playing its best basketball of the season. The Coyotes (22-5) are the No. 2 seed in the eight-team Division II West Regional that begins today. The host Lumberjacks (24-3), who have won 13 straight games and have not lost on their home floor, are the favorite. The two juggernauts are on a collision course to meet in a final that would pit the nation’s No. 4 team against the No. 8. “He is playing now like the guy I recruited,” Oliver said. “That’s what I expected all season. It’s a good time for him to be playing up to that potential.” Rounding out the starting core are Harris (13.1 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 1.7 spg), senior forward Chet Johnson (10.2 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 2 spg) and senior forward Yoseph Yaisrael (7.9 ppg, 3.1 rpg) with Lance Ortiz (5.9 ppg, 2.7 apg, 1.7 spg) and Marlon Pierce (6.5 ppg, 3 apg, 1.8 spg) taking turns at the point. Key reserves are backup center Greg Williams (6.2 ppg) and junior sharp-shooter David Reichel (6 ppg). The Coyotes are second in the nation in steals, averaging 11.8 per game. Five Coyotes were in the top 10 in the CCAA in that category. The team’s 320 broke the previous school single-season total of 291 set in 2002-03. “We’re playing much better defensively,” Oliver said. “We’re doing better in transition, not giving up so many easy buckets and we’re generating some offense with what we’re creating defensively.” The Seasiders will have plenty of size to matchup with Johnson in 6-9 sophomore Wu Tai-Hao (106 ppg, 5 rpg, 1.6 bpg) out of Taiwan and 6-9 freshman Lucas Alves (14.6 ppg, 6 rpg) out of Brazil. Other starters are junior guard Corey Nielson (7.3 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 3.6 apg), junior guard Paul Peterson (8.7 ppg, 8 rpg, 3.8 apg) and senior guard Eric Boyce (10. 7 ppg). “We know it’s going to be tough but we’re ready,” Yaisrael said. All of Cal State’s games in the tournament can be heard on radio, KTIE-590. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The Coyotes open play at 2:30 p.m. against No. 7 Brigham Young-Hawaii (20-7), the Pacific West Conference runner-up. It will the Coyotes’ eighth regional appearance in the last nine years with last year being the exception. The Coyotes are 3-3 against teams in the field. They split games with Humboldt, with each team winning on its home floor, and defeated both No. 4 Seattle Pacific (86-66) and No. 5 Grand Canyon (104-60) in December. The trouble came with local rival Cal Poly Pomona, which beat the Coyotes twice and looms as the potential semifinal foe. The Coyotes are riding an eight-game win streak, and confident as are playing better than they were when they lost at East Gym a month ago 89-78. “We’re not the same team. We’re playing much better,” senior guard Prentice Harris said. “And we have played here before so we know what it’s all about. We’ll be ready, no excuses.” Much of the optimism is due to the recent play of 6-foot-8 senior Ivan Johnson (14.8 ppg, 4.7 rpg), who is averaging 19 points over his last nine games and 24 over the last four. The University of Oregon transfer has been a factor on both ends of the floor and has been able to keep his emotions in check.
WASHINGTON – At the heart of far-reaching immigration legislation passed Friday by the House is a simple but controversial theory: If the nation’s 11 million illegal immigrants can’t find jobs, they’ll leave the country. By including the rigorous employment-verification provision in the bill – employers could be fined as much as $25,000 per worker for hiring an illegal immigrant – supporters say common sense dictates that those lured by the prospect of better jobs in America will go home if no one will hire them. Advocates for illegal immigrants, however, note that is unlikely to happen because half of America’s undocumented immigrants have been in the country at least 10 years, and more than 2 million households headed by an illegal immigrant include a U.S.-born child. “I just don’t think it’s realistic,” said Michelle Waslin, spokeswoman for the National Council of La Raza. “The conditions in the sending countries are such that people literally risk their lives to come here to the United States. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake “How miserable would you have to make conditions here in the United States for them to choose to leave and return to miserable conditions in their country?” Little data exists to support either argument, since employer verification laws are rarely enforced. Under the House bill that now awaits Senate action, Congress ordered a $360 million national verification system. Through it, every employer would be required to cross-check employees’ Social Security numbers or other identifying information to ensure their work eligibility. But even under current employer-verification procedures in 2004, only three U.S. employers were threatened with sanctions for hiring illegal immigrants, compared with 162 the previous year and 714 in 1999. Ultimately, gauging the impact the law could have on America’s illegal immigrant population – about 7 million of whom are believed to be working – appears to come down to gut instinct and what politicians think they know about human nature. “They’re not going to stay here and starve. They came here for a better life for themselves,” said Rep. Gary Miller, R-Brea, adding he believes most illegal immigrants would leave under a strict employment-enforcement regime. “If you eliminate the incentive or the reason people came to start with, I firmly believe an overwhelming majority of them will go home,” added Rep. Elton Gallegly, R-Thousand Oaks. Even if that doesn’t come to pass, Gallegly said, failing to clamp down on employers who hire illegal immigrants sends the wrong message. “As long as we allow and protect the activity, all it’s going to do is encourage more,” he said. Ira Mehlman, Los Angeles-based spokesman for the Federation for Immigration Reform, said he believes illegal immigrants will leave voluntarily if employers are held accountable. But, he said, it will take years. “It’s going to have to be a protracted example of enforcement. No question there will be some who stay anyway and just go deeper underground, but over time you could persuade a substantial number that there’s no point in sticking around,” he said. Advocates for illegal immigrants counter that families will merely go deeper underground, taking more jobs in the underground cash economy and opening themselves up to greater exploitation. Those with American citizen children, they said, would be even less likely to leave. Deborah Notkin, president of the American Immigration Lawyer’s Association, said many immigrants have developed into blended families in the United States. “They have children who are U.S. citizens. They have children who they brought over when they were 6 months old. This is, for all practical purposes, home. While some may go, the bulk of them are going to try to stay,” Notkin said. Rep. Howard Berman, D-Van Nuys, said he thinks it’s possible some illegal immigrants would depart voluntarily. But, he said, it’s a moot point: A Republican-controlled Congress will never enforce a bill that big business vehemently opposes. “The absence of jobs would certainly stop the magnet, and probably over a very long time have the effect of perhaps getting people to go home, or they’ll find other informal networks,” Berman said. But, he added, “Do you believe the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the employers of this country, the people who fund and finance Republican campaigns, will ever allow a bill to become law when a number of their industries rely so heavily on illegal immigrants? “It will never be implemented,” he predicted. “We will never see this as law.” Lisa Friedman, (202) 662-8731 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!