Illegal Immigration Debate Will Continue With Santa Clarita City Council
City staff will research topic and present findings at study session.
If you haven't heard the words "illegal immigration" or "Bob Kellar" in the last two weeks, you haven't been in Santa Clarita.
Our City Councilman first made waves while speaking at an anti illegal immigration rally last month in which he recalled reciting a quote from Teddy Roosevelt several years ago that described uniting under one flag. Kellar said he then had someone accuse him of sounding like a racist. His reply was: "That's good. If that's what you think I am because I happen to believe in America, I'm a proud racist, you're darn right I am," (full story).
His comments quickly spread across Santa Clarita and Los Angeles media outlets and the next City Council meeting was met by television crews, Kellar opponents, and Kellar supporters. The Council agreed that Kellar had perhaps chosen his words poorly; however they stated that they knew he was not, in fact, a racist (full story). They did not take any action against him, and Kellar refused to abandon the point of his comments; that illegal immigration is causing severe strain on our state and local governments and it should be stopped.
Since then, immigrant rights organizations have put Kellar in their sights, and anti illegal immigration activists have touted him as a hero.
Somewhere along the line, however, a great deal of conversation about illegal immigration has taken center stage in our town. Residents and out of the area commentators have used the public participation time at two consecutive Council meetings to address the issue, and people on both sides have squared off in demonstrations outside of City Hall.
After Tuesday's City Council meeting, Kellar requested that the issue of illegal immigration be discussed openly in Council chambers as an item on the agenda. He claimed that of all of the attention he's received over the last few weeks, an overwhelming majority has been in support of taking action to stop the flow of illegal immigrants.
The rest of the City Council expressed a desire to host the issue during a City Council study session, rather than a Council meeting. They directed City staff to research the issue, including jurisdiction rules and options for enforcement of existing laws at a local level.
After City staff coordinates that information, the City plans to schedule the study session at City Hall. The public will be invited to discuss the matter, and public speakers will be allotted the standard three minutes to share their thoughts and concerns.
When the date is scheduled, KHTS AM-1220 will post that information in a story.