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O.C. city says it won't be sanctuary for illegal immigrants

May 19, 2010 |  6:59 am

http://www.dailypilot.com/dailyblogger/brhoades/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/mansoor.jpgThe Costa Mesa City Council approved a resolution declaring it would not be a "sanctuary city" for illegal immigrants -- despite complaints from some residents that the vote needlessly inflamed tensions.

The resolution was proposed by Mayor Allan Mansoor, who had become an outspoken critic of illegal immigration.

The resolution declaring Costa Mesa a “Rule of Law City” follows an April news conference in which Mansoor called for stricter regulations to catch illegal immigrants living, working and driving in the city, and his promise to ask for the council’s support.

“The resolution states that Costa Mesa is not a sanctuary city and that it is in fact a rule-of-law city when it comes to support for upholding immigration laws,” Mansoor said before the vote Tuesday night.

Among the ideas Mansoor proposed last month was exploring whether the city could require its businesses to use E-Verify to check the immigration status of prospective employees and whether the city could verify the legality of those seeking business licenses.

The state Assembly candidate also wanted to explore why police sometimes accepted the matricula consular, a form of identification issued by the Mexican government, as a valid form of verification.

“It’s important for the public to know that form of ID is being used and accepted, and it raises questions as to why they don’t have driver’s licenses, a passport or some type of ID that says they have a legal right to work here,” Mansoor said earlier Tuesday.

Some residents are wary.

“Immigrants are part of America,” Silvia Hernandez said. “We work, pay taxes, go to church and participate in our communities. We need a solution that brings people out of the shadows.”

Mansoor, who had said he supported legal immigration, wanted police in 2005 to enforce immigration laws. The proposal sparked citywide conflict and a federal lawsuit accusing him and the city of violating a resident’s 1st Amendment rights. The city prevailed.

At least five residents spoke against Mansoor’s resolution; no one spoke in its favor.

Read the full story here.

-- Mona Shadia, reporting for the Daily Pilot