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By Henrietta J. Burroughs

East Palo Alto Today
Posted July 22, 2010

 

In dealing with the very last item on it's agenda, the East Palo Alto City Council voted to support the U. S. Justice Department's lawsuit against Arizona's immigration law. With only three of five council members present for the vote, the council passed Resolution #3099 to oppose Arizona's Senate Bill 1070. With the passage of this resolution, East Palo Alto now joins the U. S. government, other U.S. states and several countries including Mexico that are trying to block the enforcement of Arizona's immigration law.

As it was listed on the East Palo Alto City Council's agenda, Resolution #3099 was to be brought to the council by council members Ruben Abrica and Laura Martinez. Since Martinez was absent from the July 20 council meeting, Abrica explained the purpose of the resolution. In arguing for its passage Abrica said, "A state in the union passing an immigration law opens the door for racial profiling."

Abrica told the council, "As our increasingly diverse communities tackle crime, violence, and even the threats of terrorism, the police and community must work together more than ever to implement effective community policing programs and strategies. Requiring local police to engage in federal immigration enforcement will hamper that effort as it will lead to public mistrust, the polic[e]... engaging in racial profiling, and [it will keep] ... victims and/or witness[es] to crime from cooperating with law enforcement."

East Palo Alto City Council member Ruben Abrica
East Palo Alto City Council
member Ruben Abrica

The vote in favor of the resolution was three to nothing with council members Abrica, David Woods and Carlos Martinez voting affirmatively. Council member Peter Evans left the meeting about an hour before the item was discussed. The resolution the council passed recognizes that the United States Department of Justice on July 6, 2010 challenged Arizona's immigration law, S.B. 1070 in federal court. It cites the fact that the East Palo Alto City Council adopted a resolution in 2007 supporting comprehensive immigration reform that would be fair, just and humane. The resolution also mentions that the 2007 resolution the East Palo Alto City Council adopted prohibits city employees, including police officers, from acting as immigration agents.

Resolution #3099 ended by commending the United States Department of Justice and civil rights organizations for their efforts to stop Arizona's law from taking effect. The Arizona law is scheduled to take effect this coming August.

Go here, to read the complete text of Resolution #3099.

 

 

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