Mayor Peter F. Buffa of Costa Mesa, meeting Thursday with more than two dozen charities protesting the city's ill-conceived new policy of withholding money from any group that helps illegal immigrants, said that he would consider their opposing arguments when the council decides how to implement and enforce the policy.
The mayor misses the point. It is not a policy that should ever be implemented. Or enforced. It never should have been adopted in the first place. And the only reasonable and considerate response would be to correct that misguided mistake by rescinding the ill-advised action.
Charitable organizations never ask hungry people where they are from and refuse to feed or clothe them if they cannot prove citizenship or legal-resident status. It is just as unthinkable and inhumane for a city to do so, or try to impose such a standard on any religious or charitable group.
Costa Mesa, which once was considered one of the more humanitarian and enlightened cities in the county, has continued a series of recent actions clearly designed to discourage and drive away the homeless, the hungry and the illegal immigrants in its midst.