Pretty soon, you may be able to stand on the Santa Ana-Costa Mesa border and place one foot in a so-called "sanctuary city" and the other in a so-called "rule of law city."
A new Facebook group has formed in support of making Santa Ana a sanctuary city, meaning language would be added to the municipal code stating that local cops will not stop or arrest someone just because they may be in the country illegally (since, potentially, everyone they see may be in the country illegally).
An attempt to do this was defeated in 2008 by a Mayor Miguel Pulido-led majority of the Santa Ana City Council. But things have changed since then: as The Mexican blogged here, adjacent Costa Mesa has declared itself a rule of law city, not only setting it apart from rule of crime cities like Hemet, Studio City and Needles, but reiterating it is not a sanctuary city.
Actually, what it means is Costa Mesa hates Mexicans, loves Arizona and wants to boost Mayor Allan Mansoor's chances of winning an Assembly seat--but only officially.
Since Santa Ana has more Spanish speakers per capita than any other city in the country, and an overwhelming majority of Latinos overall, those pushing for sanctuary status feel good about their chances.
"In Santa Ana we have the numbers to make Santa Ana a sanctuary city but we act like a minority," states the group's page. "We must fight back!"
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The time may be right politically as well. Given the shenanigans of Arizona, Costa Mesa and teabaggers nationwide, the Santa Ana City Council officially opposed the racial profiling inherent in the 'Zoners' SB 1070. And Councilwoman Michele Martinez, who introduced the '08 sanctuary measure, has since moved into the Pulido fold's good graces.
Then, there are the events on the ground. Claims have been made that Santa Ana police are "brutally" cracking down on Latinos, including towing cars away on Cinco de Mayo just to hassle immigrants and raise much needed revenues through hefty impound fees.
The Facebook page claims sanctuary status is needed to combat racism in town, but a comment left there by someone identifying himself as Benjamin Asher Certalic takes issue with that logic: "Apparently, anyone who tries to uphold the law is a racist. I say if you are breaking the law such as probably many of these people are, then they should be taken in and sent back to where they came from. ITS NOT BEING RACIST, ITS ENFORCING THE LAW."
But crime is down in so-called sanctuary cities, according to Irvine immigration lawyer Jay Nuñez, who claims undocumented witnesses and crime victims in such towns know they can call police to report crimes without fear of deportation. He points to an Immigration Policy Center report that shows sanctuary policies help reduce criminal activity.