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Steve Lunetta: Phenomenal cosmic power

Right About Now

Posted: February 7, 2010 9:52 p.m.
Updated: February 8, 2010 4:55 a.m.

Last Tuesday, the local Republican Central Committee invited Republican candidates for City Council to come and seek endorsement. Six candidates showed, all eagerly seeking the blessing of the party.

I got to be the timekeeper for the speeches. It reminded me of a line from the Disney movie “Aladdin”: “Phenomenal cosmic power in a little-bitty living space.” That’s what I had. I got to tell Frank Ferry, Marsha McLean, TimBen Boydston and the rest to shut up and sit down.

“Phenomenal cosmic power ... ”

Of course, I had to be polite and courteous. These people could raise my taxes in a heartbeat and I couldn’t say spit about it. I had no power except over the last 30 seconds of their speeches.

“ ... In a little-bitty living space.”

Of course, in a room full of Republicans where Roger Gitlin was sitting in the back, the subject of illegal immigration and our latest travails had to come up.

For those of you living on Pluto, City Councilman Bob Kellar made a statement about loving America that included some colorful hyperbole that was taken completely out of context. Go look at what Kellar actually said on YouTube. Then look at what happened at the City Council meeting.

Kellar said what most Americans believe — that we have one flag and one language. It doesn’t matter what color, religion or social status you are, we are one nation and one people. Many in our country today seem to forget that.  

Also, those who come to our country illegally are stealing a little something from each of us. We are all immigrants here, and most came here legally. Many legal immigrants patiently wait their turn in line for a chance at being an American.

However, there are those that attempt to usurp that line and cut in ahead of all those seeking to do it correctly. This must be stopped, if for nothing else to honor those who seek to be honorable.

That was Kellar’s message. For that, he was unfairly chided, rebuked, castigated and insulted. Kellar is a guy with guts and backbone. I’m glad he represents me and this community.

But through all of the political-speak one individual, David Gauny, said something very interesting. The more I thought about it, the more it sounded like common sense.

David asked why the City Council couldn’t write a letter to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and ask it to help enforce immigration laws. This could take many forms, of course. Sheriff’s deputies could merely check the immigration status of all detainees.  

Gamely picking up the gauntlet, Marsha McLean eloquently said that such an action would expose the city to increased risk of lawsuits from miscellaneous civil rights groups, potentially costing the city massive amounts of money. There is a reason that the state is broke and we are not — our leaders make good decisions.

Laurene Weste added that it’s been tried in the past, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement refused to cooperate with us.

Fair enough. That is reasonable.  

However, doesn’t the fight need to start somewhere? Suppose we did start enforcing immigration laws at the local level, and we publicly hauled the illegal immigrants down to the Federal Building in Los Angeles (cameras and reporters in tow) and turned them over.

How could we get in trouble enforcing federal law and turning the suspects over to federal authorities?

Maybe other communities would rally to our cause. They could send us a check for the legal defense. Or maybe Burbank, Glendale, Oxnard, Simi Valley and Lancaster would start doing the same thing. If all these communities started enforcement, the ACLU could not sue all of us.

Maybe we’d help spark a national drive to restore law and order to our broken and disgraceful immigration process. Kellar’s words and our actions could be the rebirth of our national pride.

“Phenomenal cosmic power ...” in a small City Council action.

Steve Lunetta is a Santa Clarita resident. His column reflects his own views and not necessarily those of The Signal. He can be reached at “Right About Now” appears on Mondays in The Signal.


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