Striking back at so-called sanctuary cities, the Costa Mesa City Council declared Costa Mesa a "Rule of Law" city, setting itself up as a lightning rod in the latest wave of debate over immigration reform, it was reported today.
The vote came last night at the urging of Mayor Allan Mansoor, who was condemned by the Orange County branch of the Anti-Defamation League in April when he called for city efforts to help enforce immigration laws.
In 2005, Mansoor proposed training Costa Mesa police to enforce federal immigration laws, and that touched off a debate that culminated in a First Amendment lawsuit. Costa Mesa prevailed in the case when a jury rejected the ACLU-backed lawsuit in December.
Mansoor's "Rule of Law" proposal was criticized by five public speakers, the Orange County Register reported. No one spoke in favor of it.
Some public speakers said the declaration would paint the city in a bad light and polarize the community. Others called the resolution a political move by Mansoor in his bid for the state Assembly.
The vote was 4-0, with councilwoman Katrina Foley absent.
Councilwoman Wendy Leece supported the resolution, saying that Costa Mesa's relationship with Immigration and Customs Enforcement in the city jail has helped reduce crime. An ICE agent stationed at the jail checks arrestees to see if they are deportable.