Escondido, California mayor Sam Abed — himself a Lebanese immigrant — railed against a lawsuit contending that his city violated the rights of illegal immigrants by refusing to build them housing, declaring the ACLU is “targeting our city” and “we are going to stand for our rights.”
Last month, city planners in the 150,000-person city north of San Diego rejected a plan to build housing for illegal immigrants, which are overcrowding federal detention centers along the border.
Last week, the ACLU appealed that decision to the entire city council, setting off a local firestorm and making one mayor very, very angry.
“We embrace immigration,” Abed told Fox News’ Neil Cavuto. “I am a proud immigrant coming to this country because of the liberty and the freedom. But the ACLU is [over]stepping their boundaries to interfere with local government.”
“We have two issues here,” he continued,” the issue of the detention facility which the planning commission has denied based on land-use issues. Now the ACLU is dragging this issue to immigration.”
The ACLU is targeting our city,” he accused. “And we are going to stand for our rights. We are going to defend our liberty, our sovereignty. It is a local issue, and the ACLU needs to leave the city alone and let us do our things to protect our city.”
“We have a mobile obligation to the existing residents,” Abed asserted. “We have about 70,000 Hispanic residents in our city. We need to help them realize the American Dream. We need to help them be prosperous, have a better life for their families.”
“But to add more illegal immigrants to our city is a problem for the entire community,” the Escondido mayor said. “You would expect the ACLU would defend the citizens of this country, but they are not.”
“So we’re going to defend ourselves, we’re not going to be intimidated by the ACLU,” Abed continued. “Because we need to fulfill our obligations to our residents, to our seniors, to our Hispanic community in Escondido.”
“The ACLU has no business interfering with the land-use decision,” he concluded. “It is our government, it’s the local government, that needs to make that determination.”