Santa Clarita Councilman Bob Kellar has jumped into the illegal immigration fire again.
Friday afternoon he stopped by KHTS to deliver a copy of a letter he sent to Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, expressing his support for the legislature’s recent – and controversial – “safe neighborhoods” act. Kellar made the national news in January after speaking at a Minuteman rally and embracing the title "proud racist." Since then, the community has rallied around Kellar and the City Council has discussed the immigration issue and its effects on the community, but has not taken any action.
From the letter, which was written on City of Santa Clarita letterhead:
“Your recent approval, along with the Arizona Legislature, of SB 1070, Chapter 113, Statutes of 2010, the "Support our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act" clearly demonstrates your dedication to the citizens of Arizona and this nation. My name is Bob Kellar and I am on the City Council and am a former Mayor of the City of Santa Clarita; a city of about 185,000 people located 30 miles north of Los Angeles. I am writing to express my personal opinion regarding the new Arizona law.”
Council members are allowed to write letters on city stationery to express their personal opinion as long as no other names appear on the letterhead. Kellar clearly said the opinions expressed in the letter were his and his alone, but nonetheless, they are attention-getting.
“This is a city that has also suffered the impacts of illegal immigration. According to a recent study, illegal immigration cost Los Angeles County taxpayers over a billion dollars a year and that does not include education.”
Shortly before the letter was delivered, Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich’s office sent an e-mail outlining the financial burden illegal aliens put on Los Angeles County. (Click here  to read Antonovich’s report). Perhaps Kellar read the report and decided “enough is enough.”
“It seems unbelievable that our federal government has failed to carry out its constitutional responsibilities to protect this great nation. We have been invaded by millions of illegals. They have invaded this country and never had to fire a shot. Then, we have rewarded them by providing billions of dollars in welfare and social services. The devastation they have brought upon the American People and our communities is beyond measure.
“I applaud you Governor Brewer, and can only hope and pray that your leadership of standing up for the Great State of Arizona, and America, will become a guiding light for other states and cities across this nation.”
Kellar signed the letter “From a proud but worried American.”
Mayor Pro Tem Marsha McLean said that Kellar is within his rights to write the letter.
“As long as he made it clear this was his personal opinion, there’s not much we can do,” she said. “When we are on the Council, we have the responsibility to represent everyone. Unless we canvass each person in the community, I don’t think we should take a position.”
She said that the issue had not come up before the Council as a group, unlike the Los Angeles City Council, which came under fire after it voted to boycott Arizona and its vendors.
"Personally, I don’t have a problem with a state following federal law,” McLean said.
Antonovich, who makes the immigration issue one of his priorities, chided fellow supervisors for their suggestion that the County take a similar stance.
Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich called the proposal to divest and boycott Arizona over the state’s passage of SB 1070, making illegal federal immigration law a violation of state law “stupid.”
“As elected officials, we take an oath to uphold the federal and state constitutions. To boycott a state for enforcing our federal laws is in direct violation of that oath. The propaganda by both the media and others is intentionally misleading because Arizona ’s law mirrors federal law. Rather than debating a boycott, this Board should hold our federal representatives accountable for their failure to act on immigration reform but also for their failure to reimburse costs incurred by local governments.
“This knee jerk reaction to support law breakers at the expense of law-abiding legal immigrants and other residents is irresponsible. A divestment and a boycott is a disingenuous show of perceived political correctness that will only backfire and will shoot us in the heart -- not in the foot. The fiscal impact of terminating contracts with Arizona would harm our already fragile economic condition of this county and add to our double-digit unemployment rolls.
“Arizona supplies Los Angeles County with water and energy as well as jobs and opportunities to our residents who work in those businesses and institutions visited by Arizona residents.”