Tempers Flare as Huntington Park Appoints Undocumented Immigrants to City Commissions

CBS Los Angeles, August 4, 2015

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Councilman Jhonny Pineda announced at Monday night’s city council meeting the appointment of two undocumented immigrants as commissioners, CBS2/KCAL9’s Kara Finnstrom reports.

“You are out of order!” one woman in the crowd yelled at the councilmembers during the meeting.

Some critics say Pineda, who joined the council in March, specifically picked Medina and Zatarain because they worked on his campaign. Others say they don’t believe undocumented immigrants should serve the government this way.

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Pineda stresses that the two appointees would not be paid–federal law prohibits that–and that they will have no power to determine city policy.

Frank Medina will join the health and education commission and Julian Zatarain will be working with the parks and recreation commission. Both are young men who Pineda says have a long history of volunteering for the city and the undocumented community.

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City Mayor Karina Macias threw her support behind the appointments.

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Pineda says the move is historic, and would make Huntington Park the first city to have undocumented immigrants on city commissions.

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