Phil Willon, Los Angeles Times, June 22, 2010
The city councils of Hemet and Lake Elsinore, both in Riverside County, approved proclamations Tuesday in support of Arizona’s controversial anti-illegal immigration law.
The Yorba Linda City Council in Orange County approved a similar resolution earlier this month, countering actions taken by leaders in cities such as Los Angeles, who voted to boycott doing business with Arizona companies in protest of the law.
The Hemet City Council unanimously approved the measure, proposed by Mayor Eric McBride. Dozens of residents testified throughout the evening, with supporters praising the council for taking a stand against illegal immigration and for the rule of law, and opponents accusing the council of fostering racial profiling and discrimination. Residents on both sides criticized the White House and Congress for failing to address the issue.
In Lake Elsinore, a 28-mile drive west of Hemet on Highway 74, a similar scene played out before that city’s council, which approved a resolution in favor of the Arizona law 4 to 1.
“It doesn’t have to do with your nationality or where you come from. It has to do if you’re here legally or not,” said Mayor Melissa A. Melendez.
Melendez, who said she has relatives of Mexican and Peruvian descent, also criticized illegal immigrants for disregarding the nation’s laws and flaunting their allegiance to Mexico.
“Don’t come into my country wearing a Mexican flag. It’s insulting,” she said.