The appointment of two illegal immigrants to official positions in this California city caused quite an uproar at a council meeting Monday night. The Huntington Seashore males will work in a volunteer capability and never obtain the town’s regular month-to-month stipend. Both men were born in Mexico and will lead their respective commissions, as said by KABC-TV.
Huntington Park, a city of about 60,000 people located in the outskirts of Los Angeles, has named 2 people to government commissions who are in the U.S. illegally.
“Our population includes documented and undocumented immigrants, and I wanted to make sure everyone could participate”, Huntington Park Mayor Karina Macias said, reported by the Los Angeles Times. “They have been giving a lot without expecting anything in return”. “They are qualified but it just turns out they are undocumented”.
However, a few believe Councilman Jhonny Pineda who joined the council in March, specifically picked Medina and Zatarain because they worked on his campaign. One man praised city officials for their courage, while a woman accused them of “breaking the law”.
Legal immigration proponents say the appointments show a disdain for the law. “That I wrong”, Caraballo said, as mentioned by KPCC.
Pineda told the board that “both these gentlemen have accomplished a great deal for the city”. State law does not prohibit people in the country illegally serving as commissioners, though they cannot vote or seek elective office. “If we will speak about transparency, being open and having a group that is concerned, then the dialog additionally has to incorporate undocumented immigrants”.
Commissioners typically receive a monthly stipend of $75, but neither of the appointees will be compensated, Pineda told The Times. The neighboring city of Maywood made headlines back in 2006 by declaring that it would be a so-called sanctuary city and repealed practices that some considered anti-immigrant. As indicated by a statement from the City of Huntington Park, neither man met the requirements for temporary legal status under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, the 2012 federal program that allows some young immigrants a two-year reprieve from deportation.
50% of Huntington Park’s population comes from outside the United States; over 97% of the population is Latino, as indicated by Southern California Public Radio.