It’s been a year since the County first adopted the ‘Immigration Resolution’ and because of continual participation from more moderate voices, it is now, but a shadow of its original proposed self. The Resolution is, at its core, faulted because of its assertion that illegal immigration has been determined to cause ‘lawlessness and economic hardship’. This declaration has never been substantiated and continues to remain an unfounded claim upon which this resolution was founded.
If you recall, the original version suggested checking immigration status at all public facilities even schools and parks. Thankfully, staff recognized that implementation of such a far reaching and radical policy was unwise. And, with the guidance and suggestion of more reasonable perspectives, began the process of affecting changes to mitigate not only the potential of costly lawsuits but to reign in the more radical elements that initially suggested the plan.
By October, we were left with a short list of 8 identified services that could be ‘reasonably’ restricted combined with a policy that mandated officers to inquire into immigration status with anyone they came into contact with that they believed had ‘probable cause’ to be undocumented. Shortly thereafter, it was determined that 2 of the previously identified services should also not be restricted and the list shrank to 6.
In April, with the start of the planning for the ‘09 Fiscal Plan’ another opportunity presented itself for another scale back when cameras became too costly of an investment. We then lobbied and succeeded in having the Resolution modified so that Officer’s could fallback to the previous policy of ‘reasonable articulable suspicion’ combined with a mandated post-arrest procedure for status checks, Now, the “Immigration Resolution” consists of the restrictions to the 6 services, mandated status checks after arrest and the general resolution. All of this, has born a price tag of $4 million dollars, and for all practical purposes has brought us full circle, back to the place, in essence where we started.