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California city raises the stakes in illegal immigration debate

by Christopher A. Guzman, published

For all the media coverage many California cities are receiving for their call of an Arizona boycott, the new immigration law seems to have had the opposite effect in another part of California that actually favors SB 1070. 

The city of Costa Mesa has passed a resolution declaring that it is not a sanctuary city sheltering illegal immigrants.  While sanctuary cities protect illegals from serious discipline, the goal of a “Rule of Law City” is the exact opposite.  While Los Angeles perpetuates itself as a sanctuary city by continuing Special Order 40, Costa Mesa seeks to go in the opposite direction.

“Rule of law” does not provide protection loopholes for those breaking immigration laws. Its goal is to curtail incentives to break immigration law.  Mayor Mansoor has actively taken steps to ensure that immigration enforcement takes place.

One of the mayor’s notable personnel moves was to place an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent at the city jail to vet the immigration status of prisoners.  Another anti-illegal immigration policy from the mayor includes workplace regulation to see to it that no illegals are hired.

Also under consideration by Mansoor is to see if the city can require its employers to have access to an E-Verify system that checks the work status of potential employees.  Mansoor said that such a move was not in response to the Arizona law.

Passage of the mayor’s new "Rule of Law City" resolution was a unanimous one, flying by with unanimous support of 4-0 to the disappointment of many in the room who thought the law to be an unfair one.

The particular stance on immigration enforcement held by the lawmakers is a testimony to Orange County’s conservative disposition, and is yet another reflection of the ever growing importance of the immigration issue to the constituents of this  particular town.

The move by the Costa Mesa city council is ironic when considered in light of Los Angeles’ response to Arizona’s actions with a boycott.  It will be interesting to see whether Los Angeles will be consistent and call for a boycott of businesses in Costa Mesa. Or, Los Angeles may merely focus all of its efforts on forcing Arizona to modify its ways.

Because of Costa Mesa's resolution to enforce a strict immigration law, how will this affect any business relationships that these officials have with Los Angeles officials?

Given the struggling economy, these questions are ones that Los Angeles officials must consider. If they do not, then they risk getting into another Arizona-like pickle that could make them look foolish in the end.

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