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Some question timing of Costa Mesa's illegal-immigration campaign

May 23, 2010 |  8:33 am

The passage of a resolution by the Costa Mesa City Council saying it would not be a sanctuary city for illegal immigrants isn't likely to have much impact on the Orange County city, according to some experts.

“It’s symbolic because it’s not materially improving people’s lives in Costa Mesa,” said Stephen Lee, professor of administrative and immigration laws at the UC Irvine School of Law. “If it’s not materially improving the lives of people in Costa Mesa, it’s important to ask the question of, ‘Whose lives is it benefiting?’”

Council critics have said the person benefiting from it all might just be Mayor Allan Mansoor, a Republican Assembly candidate.

Though Mansoor has said he was not influenced by Arizona’s tough new immigration law or his run for the Assembly, Costa Mesa Chamber of Commerce President Ed Fawcett said that when it comes to politics, coincidences are nonexistent.

“Arizona’s legislation brought the conversation back onto the front pages,” said Fawcett, who was speaking on his own behalf, not the chamber. “Anyone campaigning for an office higher than that of the city level can insert him or herself onto those front pages by taking one position or another on immigration reform. It does nothing to resolve the issue. It only raises one’s public profile.”

Orange County Supervisor John Moorlach, a longtime Costa Mesa resident, agrees.

“San Francisco is a sanctuary city, but it doesn’t stop people from going to San Francisco,” he told the Daily Pilot. “This kind of stuff comes up just around this time every two or four years. For me, I think a lot of people that are reading the paper would look at this and say, ‘I wonder how many days it is until the primaries?’”

Read the full story here.

-- Mona Shadia, Daily Pilot

Photo: Costa Mesa Mayor Allan Mansoor. Credit: Daily Pilot