The County Board of Sups had a lively meeting today.
There was presentation by Sheriff Lee Baca, which was followed by testimony from the family of Jameil Shaw, who was killed by an illegal immigrant; consideration of an ordinance that calls for chain restaurants to provide caloric information about meals; the introduction of a graffiti pilot program, proposed by Supervsior Gloria Molina, that allows the county to recover costs civilly; and the reversal of a vote that will now place a half-cent sales tax measure proposed by MTA on a consolidated ballot in November.
The most controversy came out of the discussion about the the Sheriff’s policies and procedures for undocumented aliends housed in county jails.
There were dozens of speakers, including the father of Jamiel Shaw, an African-American who was college bound but was shot in the head on March 2 in Arlington Heights by an illegal immigrant.
Some speakers said that they did not care what race the illegal immigrants are, but they are against illegal immigrants that are gang bangers and murders, and there needs to be a system in place to deport them.
One speaker, who was an African American, said that if the tables were turned and 4 million black people illegally immigrated to Mexico, they would be killed.
Supervisor Yvonne Burke made a comment after a member from the Minute Men spoke, who called for the deportation of illegal immigrants. Immediately following him was a Rabbi, who said that the testimony from the Minute Man would be a tough act to follow. Then Burke responded, “Today, it’s the Latinos. Tomorrow it’s the blacks and Jews.”
The comment did not sit well with some people, who accused Burke of making this a racial issue. But Burke responded by saying that she was not race baiting, but rather she was aware of the work that the Minute Men did, and she understood their call for deporting illegal immigrants was really a call for the immigration of all Latinos, and that they wouldn’t stop there.
There were also representatives from the Mexican American Legal Defense and ACLU who spoke against developing a system like Special Order 40.
Once the transcript and video becomes available, you should read and watch some of the comments for yourselves. It was one of the most surprising public meetings I’ve ever attended.
(The photo above is of Jamiel Shaw Jr. The photo can be found at the LA Times blog.)