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Critics Perceive Change of Heart in Costa Mesa

September 05, 1989|CARLA RIVERA | Times Staff Writer

Initial complaints about day workers were addressed through formation of a city task force that promoted greater cultural awareness.

Last year, the city designated a week in April as Human Relations Week and officials also inaugurated a program called Living Room Dialogues where residents were invited to neighborhood meetings to discuss the experiences of immigrants from around the world.

According to King, no community leaders have voiced support of the council's recent actions.

However, John Brechtal, assistant district director at the Immigration and Naturalization Service, defended the measures.

"The city is on the leading edge . . . in looking for new solutions because the old ones haven't worked," Brechtal said.

But he conceded that because of political and economic forces at work in Central and South America, neither current levels of federal intervention nor actions of one city are likely to stop the flow of illegal aliens.

Ultimately, critics worry that as other cities explore Costa Mesa's actions for precedent, those larger issues will be ignored.

"I think everyone agrees there has to be a solution to the immigration problem, but it is a more global problem and will take a more global solution than what is going on in Costa Mesa," Forbath said.

How The Costa Mesa Council Voted On issues touching immigrants and the poor, the Costa Mesa City Council majority has included Mayor Pete Buffa and Councilmen Orville Amburgey and Ed Glasgow. Councilwomen Mary Hornbuckle and Sandra L. Genis mostly disagree with their proposals. Issue Restrictive Dayworker Ordinance makes it illegal for a person to show "intent" to solicitemployment within 300 feet of certain intersections, even if in a motor vehicle. Amburgey: For Buffa: For Glasgow: For Genis: Against Hornbuckle: Against Issue Cancellation of SOS Lease forces Share Our Selves, an agency that gives food, clothing and health services to the needy, to move from the Rea Community Center within six months. Amburgey: For Buffa: For Glasgow: For Genis: For Hornbuckle: Against Issue Illegal-Alien Funding Ban witholds city grants from any group--except health clinics-that support, employ or assist illegal aliens. Amburgey: For Buffa: For Glasgow: For Genis: Against Hornbuckle: Against Source: Costa Mesa City Council records

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