Garden Grove and Westminster officials announced plans Wednesday to discourage official visits from Vietnam -- an idea that has drawn broad support from constituents and local politicians.
The ordinance, proposed for adoption by both cities, is designed to keep trade delegations or officials from the communist nation from visiting Little Saigon, a sprawling immigrant community where hard-line anticommunist sentiments run high.
If approved, the law would discourage either city from spending money on police services to assist visiting dignitaries and would require a two-week warning of any delegations planning a visit -- long enough for opponents to plan protests.
"It carries a message that you are not welcome here -- and if you do come, you come at your own risk, knowing full well the anger and the opposition from the community," said Garden Grove Councilman Van Thai Tran, who wrote the resolution.
Most council members in the neighboring town indicated they would support the resolution. To do less, they said, would be an insult to the immigrant community -- which forms the core of the largest concentration of Vietnamese outside Vietnam.
Last year, both cities adopted a law declaring that the flag of the former nation of South Vietnam would be flown during city-sponsored events.
Five council members from the two cities and the police chief of Garden Grove attended a news conference Wednesday to promote the new resolution.
The proposal was launched after the U.S. State Department gave Garden Grove two days' notice that a delegation of Vietnamese officials would tour Little Saigon on April 24. The tour was canceled after police departments in Westminster and Garden Grove said they could not ensure delegates' safety.
Garden Grove Councilman Bill Dalton said the delegation's plan to drive through Little Saigon had an in-your-face feel: "Almost like someone parading down the street and saying 'We won.' "
City officials say the proposed resolution also would allow officials to plan for law enforcement.