Skip to comments.San Bernardino To Vote On Tough Immigration Law
Posted on 05/17/2006 4:26:10 AM PDT by Man50D
SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. -- Mayor Patrick J. Morris on Monday lambasted a proposal that will prohibit landlords from renting to undocumented residents and will force day laborers to prove legal residency if voters approve it.
The measure, which has qualified for a special election after failing to be ratified by the city council, will cost the city more than $1 million in enforcement and lost business, and the election alone will cost $300,000, Morris told a press conference before the council meeting, which ended with a 6-1 vote in favor of referring the initiative to a special election. City Clerk Rachel Clark said the special citywide election must be held in 90 to 135 days.
"This will burden our local taxpayers with unnecessary costs simply because Washington, D.C., has failed in its immigration policy. This makes no sense at all," the mayor said.
Morris charged that the measure's author, anti-illegal immigration activist Joseph Turner, was using San Bernardino to make a national political statement.
"I can tell that he's on a mission and that mission is not local. He wants to use our city. We're Mr. Turner's guinea pig," Morris said.
Nationwide, cities are dealing with an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants, a majority of whom are Hispanic. Some cities have built day labor centers and declared themselves immigrant "sanctuaries," while others have used ordinances to arrest day laborers and proposed using their police forces to enforce immigration law.
The San Bernardino measure qualified for a ballot earlier this month. The question for the City Council was whether to approve it without any changes -- making it law -- or to allow voters to decide whether to enact what would be one of the most sweeping local ordinances in the nation on the issue of illegal immigration.
"I cannot and will not support the ballot initiative because it does not offer a solution to the challenges we face, either as a city or a nation," the mayor added.
Attorneys from the National Alliance for Human Rights, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and the ACLU said at a press conference that they would take immediate legal action.
San Bernardino, 70 miles east of Los Angeles, has a population of 200,000. Just under 50 percent are Hispanic, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. Its previous mayor was a Hispanic woman elected to two terms.
The measure needed only 2,200 signatures to qualify for the ballot, a number based on the turnout for the most recent mayoral election, which was low because it was uncontested, according to Morris.
The initiative was intended to circumvent a Supreme Court ruling prohibiting public schools from asking students for proof of legal residency, Turner, the executive director of Save Our State, said in an interview. He said if families can't live in the city, then their children will not attend its schools.
"Local politicians throughout the country say there is nothing they can do about illegal immigration, that it's a state and federal issue," said Turner, 29. "But I do believe there are things you can do at the local level."
The proposed law also would ban taxpayer-funded day labor centers, mandate that city business be conducted in English and deny permits to businesses hiring illegal immigrants. In most cases, violators would be fined $1,000.
Guess what...they're working.
Two words of caution:
How is it not offering a solution. If illegals can't live in the city, they can't reap the freebies.
Who will enforce this law?How long before the ACLU files suit against it?
I give them credit for trying to PROTECT their city!