Tuesday, July 13, 2010
The Monterey County Board of Supervisors has approved a resolution denouncing Arizona's strict new immigration law, which allows police to question any suspected illegal immigrants - language many civil rights activists interpret as legalized racial profiling.
Tonight the supervisors voted 4-0 in favor (with Lou Calcagno abstaining) of a resolution alleging Arizona's law violates the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees the right to due process. The resolution will be sent to Arizona Governor Jan Brewer.
The board also voted, 5-0, to urge President Obama to sign a "just and humane" comprehensive immigration reform bill that would help law-abiding immigrants pursue U.S. citizenship.
A majority of members of the public in the audience spoke in favor of the resolution. But some, including Jeff Taylor, the Republican candidate for the 17th District U.S. Congress seat, took strong issue with it.
Although the resolution represents the county's first official action on the law, the board majority has been speaking out against it for months. In early May, Supervisors Simon Salinas, Fernando Armenta and Jane Parker joined the mayors of Seaside, Gonzalez, Soledad and Watsonville in opposition to the Arizona law.
The southwestern state's action has already made some impact here on California's Central Coast. Salinas Valley farm workers who travel to Arizona for fall harvests are more hesitant this year, the Weekly reported in May. And members of the United Farm Workers union, which has an office in Salinas, traveled to Arizona in June to protest the law.