One of the more interesting moments of Glendora’s city council meeting Tuesday night was the discussion over a resolution that would be a proclamation of support for “The Rule of Law and State Rights”
The resolution, as it was written, would make it known that Glendora supports the law. As its justification, It has a few paragraphs relating to immigration, such as acknowledging the country’s history of immigrants, support of legal immigration, acknowledging the country and state has laws regarding immigration, raises issues of human trafficking and drugs, and finally says, in probably its strongest statement, that other states and cities have enacted laws as a result of unfair practices by the federal government (Arizona anyone?)
The intent, when councilmen Doug Tessitor and Ken Herman asked for it to be drawn up, was as a stance against illegal immigration and sanctuary cities.
When the resolution went before the council, many members had problems with it. Tessitor and councilman Gene Murabito thought it wasn’t strong enough to express the council’s intent. Tessitor called it “vanilla.”
City Attorney Wayne Leech said it was his intent to water it down in an effort to not put the city on the side of a law that could be rendered unconstitutional.
So the actual resolution section only stated “The City of Glendora supports the rule of law and that enforcement of all government laws, rules and regulations must be done in a fair and equitable manner so that its citizens believe that regardless of their race; family status; religion, creed or financial ability will be treated in the true spirit of Justice being blind to those elements.”
Councilman Terry Kent expressed what most people watching probably thought too. If this does nothing more than say Glendora supports all laws, and considering the city already enforces those laws, than why is the council even talking about this?
“We are already doing it,” Kent said during the meeting. “I don’t know why we are here, to be honest with you.”
Councilwoman Karen Davis echoed Kent’s comments.
“We have, we are and will enforce the laws and in terms of other cities, what we say or do will not impact what those other cities will do,” she said. “We have a jurisdiction to enforce the laws in Glendora, which we have, are and will do. If the intent is to make a reflection on what some other cities have chosen to do, then maybe the language of this needs to be different.”
Murabito had problems with the resolution’s intent versus the actual language.
“If we want to make a statement the we support the laws, why do we then in one paragraph here get very specific to immigration law?” he asked. “To me this whole resolution is saying in essence, we support the laws … and then, oh by the way, we are going to draft this to address immigration.”
Tessitor said immigration should be part of the resolution, and in fact, brought forward stronger within the resolution because “immigration is the lynch pin” by which other cities have fashioned sanctuary city laws.
“I think that is the nexus that is important in taking a stand,” he said.
In the end, only Herman and Tessitor voted in favor of the resolution which died 3-2.