“It’s fracturing the community,” said Jean Forbath, a social activist who founded the Costa Mesa charity Share Our Selves. “The future of Costa Mesa and Orange County and all America is to accept each other. This program does not create communities.”
Have you seen this in today’s OC Register? They’re beginning a series on how the immigration controversy is affecting public policy in OC. And, of course, what better way to examine the immigration controversy than to look at what’s happening in Costa Mesa? What was once the place that Former Supervisor Tom Riley called “the city with a heart” has now become a place where immigrants live in constant fear of arrest and deportation.
In particular, Costa Mesa’s policy of checking the immigration status of everyone detained at the city jail and turning over undocumented immigrants for deportation has stirred up plenty of unrest. Oh yes, and even more controversy has been created with police officers being deputized to enforce immigration law. Supporters of these hard-line policies say that this has made Costa Mesa safer… But is that really the case?
So far, The Register is answering, “NO.” After all, many of those immigrants caught were small-time “offenders” who did nothing more than sleep in a car overnight or ride a bike on the wrong side of the road. Also, 3/4 of those immigrants arrested in Costa Mesa during the first six months had never before been charged with a crime in Orange County. In fact, 20 were arrested on cases so marginal that they were rejected by the DA’s Office or not even presented in the first place. Oh yes, and the paper was unable to identify any effect on crime in Costa Mesa, despite supporters’ assertions that the Costa Mesa is now safer.
So what do you think about Costa Mesa’s crackdown on immigrants? Is i
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