Costa Mesa, Calif. Declares Itself The Anti-Sanctuary City

By Julianne Hing May 20, 2010

The Costa Mesa city council unanimously passed a resolution at the urging of Mayor Allan Mansoor on Tuesday night declaring itself a "rule of law" city that doesn’t condone unlawful immigration. "I have a lot of concerns with cities calling themselves sanctuary cities," Mansoor told the assembled city council on Tuesday night. "It’s important we state that we do not support illegal immigration." "There are several cities that have stated they are sanctuary cities and I think that’s unfortunate. We shouldn’t be afraid to state that we believe that upholding our immigration laws is the right thing to do. We have complete respect for legal immigration." The city council passed the resolution 4-0. One member was absent. Mansoor, who’s also running for a state Assembly seat and whose campaign strategy seems to depend on alienating as many immigrants in his town as possible, made headlines in April for proposing tougher immigration laws in his town. He wants stricter employer sanctions and more ICE presence in the local jails. Mansoor even got his city council to pass a plan in 2005 to have local Costa Mesa law enforcement trained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials so they could investigate people’s statuses. The policy, which was challenged by the ACLU and thrown out of court in December, was not so distant in spirit from SB 1070, the state law in Arizona that demands that police investigate the immigration status of anyone they deem "reasonably suspicious" of being in the country without papers. Mansoor was as nasty as SB 1070 author Russell Pearce and Jan Brewer long before those Arizona politicians hit the big time. Perhaps he senses political opportunity in the current moment.