By: Steven Foley cross-posted @ RedState.org
In a vote by the city council late Tuesday night Costa Mesa became the first city in America to enact a controversial program that would train Costa Mesa police officers to enforce federal immigration law.
The plan would mirror the one currently being devised to give immigration training to sheriff's officers. Sheriff Mike Carona's plan
This program is allowed under a 1996 federal immigration law
142. Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of September 30, 1996 (110 Statutes-at-Large 3009)
A. Established measures to control U.S. borders, protect legal workers through worksite enforcement, and remove criminal and other deportable aliens:
Increased border personnel, equipment, and technology as well as enforcement personnel at land and air ports of entry;
Authorized improvements in barriers along the Southwest border;
Increased anti-smuggling authority and penalties for alien smuggling;
Increased penalties for illegal entry, passport and visa fraud, and failure to depart;
Increased INS investigators for worksite enforcement, alien smuggling, and visa overstayers;
Established three voluntary pilot programs to confirm the employment eligibility of workers and reduced the number and types of documents that may be presented to employers for identity and eligibility to work;
Broadly reformed exclusion and deportation procedures, including consolidation into a single removal process as well as the institution of expedited removal to speed deportation and alien exclusion through more stringent grounds of admissibility;
Increased detention space for criminal and other deportable aliens;
Instituted 3- and 10-year bars to admissibility for aliens seeking to reenter after having been unlawfully present in the United States;
Barred re-entry of individuals who renounced their U.S. citizenship in order to avoid U.S. tax obligations.
B. Placed added restrictions on benefits for aliens:
Provided for a pilot program on limiting issuance of driver's licenses to illegal aliens;
Declared aliens not lawfully present ineligible for Social Security benefits;
Established procedures for requiring proof of citizenship for Federal public benefits;
Established limitations on eligibility for preferential treatment of aliens not lawfully present on the basis of residence for higher education benefits;
Provided for verification of immigration status for purposes of Social Security and higher educational assistance;
Tightened the requirement for an affidavit of support for sponsored immigrants, making the affidavit a legally binding contract to provide financial support;
provided authority of States and political subdivisions of States to limit assistance to aliens in providing general cash public assistance;
Increased maximum criminal penalties for forging or counterfeiting the seal of a Federal department or agency to facilitate benefit fraud by an unlawful alien.
C. Miscellaneous provisions:
Recodified existing INS regulations regarding asylum;
Provided that the Attorney General's parole authority may be exercised only on a case-by-case basis for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public health.
Created new limits on the ability of F-1 students to attend public schools without reimbursing those institutions;
Established new mandates for educational institutions to collect information on foreign students' status and nationality and provide it to INS;
Tightened restrictions regarding foreign physicians' ability to work in the United States;
Added new consular processing provisions and revised the visa waiver program.
According to the Daily Pilot
The council voted, 3-2, to pursue a two-pronged plan to have some city police employees trained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Councilwomen Linda Dixon and Katrina Foley [no relation] voted against the plan. Mayor Allan Mansoor and Councilmen Eric Bever and Gary Monahan voted in favor.
supporters said this in the OC Register
Some supporters of the program echoed Mayor Allan Mansoor, who said: "Ultimately it's going to make the community safer for all of us, even those who are in the country illegally and are otherwise law-abiding."
Under another plan being considered, patrol officers could question and detain illegal immigrants first stopped on suspicion of another offense, such as speeding or soliciting a day- labor job. Police would not be allowed to conduct sweeps for undocumented immigrants.
The opposition said: (Note the age of the two people questioned)
To pass a law such as this would create negative energy and negative tension and endanger the shaky bond between Latinos and the police force," Kristin Hoeffler, 20, of Costa Mesa, said before the discussion began. "There are illegal immigrants and children of illegal immigrants, and what will happen to those children if their parents are sent away?"
"I feel like (the council) never looks at what Latinos add to the community. They only look at the negative," said Mike Burns, 20, of Costa Mesa.
The city most in need of this kind of immigration reform is Los Angeles. With SPECIAL ORDER 40 tying the hands of police men and women and turning the city into a "sanctuary city" something has got to give..
Just the mere mention of illegal immigration often leads to statistics so here we go; the current estimate is 2- to 3-million illegal immigrants in California; at a cost of $10 billion they may cost the state annually, according to a study by the Federation for American Immigration Reform is way out of control our health care costs are through the roof, our schools are bursting at the seems, and you'd be lucky to buy a two bedroom house with a floor heater in Van Nuys for $900,000.00 (obvious exaggeration but you get the point)
I think this is a great first step locally. We always here (from local officials) it's a federal issue when it comes to immigration. Obviously the people of Costa Mesa felt differently. They spoke and their local officials listened. Hopefully other cities will take notice and follow Costa Mesa's lead.