On Friday, Los Angeles City Council members asked federal lawmakers to oppose changing an existing law which would make it easier to deport illegal immigrants.
Federal lawmakers are considering a change in a 2008 law that would grant authorities the right to deport illegal immigrants within 48 hours of being detained. According to the Los Angeles Times, the law as it now stands guarantees that young immigrants from Central American countries receive a hearing before an immigration judge and guarantees due process.
Councilman Gil Cedillo said in a news conference at MacArthur park, a gathering place for Central American immigrants, that Los Angeles needs “to distinguish our city… from other cities, like Murrieta.” The councilman is referring to the July protestation of hundreds of Murrieta residents who rejected the busloads of illegal immigrants sent by federal authorities to relocate in their rural Riverside County community.
The Murieta citizens objected to the aliens because, aside from their illegal status, there are risks associated with the aliens not being screened properly for contagious diseases and for past criminal behavior. According to the Times, most cities are opposed to receiving immigrants in their communities because of the fiscal drain on city resources. However, officials in Los Angeles have gone out of their way to herald the opposite message.
Because Los Angeles is home to a vast population of Salvadorans, Guatemalans, and Hondurans, Cedillo reasons that the city has an obligation to the illegal immigrant children that come here. “They are inextricably linked to their homelands,” he said.