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Is Costa Mesa's illegal immigration crackdown about politics or real policy? Tell us what you think

June 5, 2010 |  7:34 am

Costa Mesa has distinguished itself from much of Southern California as a town aggressively opposed to illegal immigrants. City leaders closed a long-running day labor center, proposed that police officers check the legal status of suspected lawbreakers and have even targeted pickup soccer games in parks.

TalkBackLANow, as city after city in California has condemned Arizona's recently passed illegal-immigration law, Costa Mesa has again stood firmly on the other side of the debate by declaring itself a "Rule of Law City."

If the declaration was meant to send the message that the Orange County city was serious about fighting illegal immigration, it worked on the city's Latino-dominated Westside, where residents express concerns.

But for all the tough talk about illegal immigrants, it remains an open question how much political leaders here have accomplished beyond attracting headlines and rattling nerves.

The immigration agent once stationed at the city jail is gone. An anti-solicitation ordinance meant to drive away day laborers is on indefinite hold because of a lawsuit, and the number of jailed illegal immigrants handed over to federal authorities has dropped significantly.

What do you think of Costa Mesa's aggressive tactics on illegal immigration? Read the full story by The Times' Paloma Esquivel and Tony Barboza here. In the video above, Steve Marble, The Times' editor who handles Orange County news, discusses the long history of Costa Mesa and the illegal immigration question.

Share your thoughts below.