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Costa Mesa declares itself 'Rule of Law' city

May 19, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
In response to growing criticism of Arizona's immigration law, Costa Mesa is also diving into the immigration debate. The city has declared itself a "Rule of Law" city.At the urging of Mayor Allan Mansoor, the Costa Mesa City Council voted 4-0 Tuesday to approve the resolution designed to make it clear immigration laws will be enforced and people in the country illegally are not welcome.

Mansoor, who proposed the resolution, says more needs to be done to crack down on illegal immigrants. The mayor says he is concerned with cities calling themselves "illegal immigrant sanctuary cities."

"I believe it's important that we very much support legal immigration, which we do, but it's also appropriate to state that we do not support illegal immigration and that we are not a 'sanctuary city,'" said Mansoor.

The mayor said he didn't have time to talk on camera Wednesday about the resolution.

"We have to have laws. How are we going to live anywhere without laws?" said Costa Mesa Agnes Thiers.

When you talk to folks who live and work in Costa Mesa, most of them said Wednesday that they favor what the city council did. They basically said rules are rules, laws are laws, and they have to be obeyed.

"No matter what your political stance or whatever, that's something that should be enforced," said Costa Mesa resident Chuck Cook.

"Even though it sounds harsh, I think they should be legal," said Cherie Thiers, a resident of Costa Mesa.

Those against the resolution, said differently.

"What is really the goal that we want to set in the United States, and in Costa Mesa?" said Costa Mesa resident Linda Garcia. "Let us look at people as human beings with human needs."

"They don't come here trying to disrupt our lives or anything like that," said Costa Mesa resident Nathan Endemano. "Everybody just wants a better life for themselves."

Nothing specific yet from the city council on how this resolution will be enforced.

A federal agent is assigned to the Costa Mesa jail to check the immigration status of those arrested.

The council's action has been condemned by the Orange County branch of the Anti-Defamation League.


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