Huntington Park, California city councilman Jhonny Pineda’s appointed two illegal immigrants to separate advisory boards Monday night, CBS Los Angeles reports.
Pineda has chosen Julian Zatarian and Francisco Medina to serve as commissioners to the parks and recreation board and the education board. Neither men are citizens of the United States, but the city attorney reportedly said that the appointments don’t require citizenship.
Pineda told the board that “both these gentlemen have accomplished a great deal for the city. … They will do an excellent job on their commission posts.”
But some residents find fault with that reasoning.
“You only want to appoint these specific individuals, only two, because they’re your personal friends that worked on your campaign,” one citizen said, according to CBS LA.
The commissioner positions are unpaid, voluntary and nonvoting, but the two illegal aliens would have direct influence on board members and legislation.
Pineda justified his action saying “we need to make sure that we bring everyone together to the table here in Huntington Park so that we can make sure we’re sharing the same vision.”