Two illegal aliens named to city panels in California

Two illegal aliens have been named to city commissions posts in Huntington Park, California, and a lot of people aren’t happy about it:

Julian Zatarain, 21, and Francisco Medina, 29, were named to the Huntington Park parks and recreation commission and the health and education commission, respectively. The town, which is about 5 miles from downtown Los Angeles, has long been a first stop for many undocumented immigrants moving to the United States from Mexico and other parts of Latin America.


Officials in Huntington Park said that while undocumented immigrants may not be able to vote, that should not prevent them helping their communities in other ways.

But critics blasted the move, saying it awards lawbreakers.

Robin Hvidston, executive director of We the People Rising, an immigration enforcement group in California, said the appointments take two commission seats away from U.S. citizens.

“To appoint commission seats to individuals who are breaking federal laws demonstrates that lack of respect for U.S. law,” she said.

California law actually doesn’t prohibit illegals from serving as appointed commissioners. However, Zatarain and Medina will have t undergo background checks and will not receive the monthly stipend, which usually ranges from $25 to $75. Still, opposition remains:

While city officials have generally praised the move, some residents and immigration hardliners are deriding the appointments as bad examples for the rest of the country and something that will bring unwanted attention to the working-class city.

“There are more qualified people,” Linda Caraballo, a former councilwoman and resident of Huntington Park, told the Times. “How could they be policy advisors if they can’t even vote for the council members? This is just going to bring media attention, it’s going to create national debate and it is something the city of Huntington Park doesn’t need.”