Bakersfield leaders vote against immigration resolution


City leaders have voted no to support HR 15, the immigration bill that some politicians call a compromise.  It’s already won support in the United States Senate from both republicans and democrats.

City council member Willie Rivera proposed a resolution for Bakersfield to make a stand on immigration reform and support HR 15.

“The reality of immigration reform is that its not a republican issue, it’s not a democratic issue, its not a decline to state or independent issue, it’s really an American issue,” he said.

HR-15 includes a pathway to citizenship, border security measures and an agricultural worker program.

“It’s really something that will benefit the community of Bakersfield. There are many people who can benefit from seeing a path to citizenship in the next couple of months from farmers to students to families,” said supporter, Fabian Sanchez.

“One year ago when the senate passed this comprehensive immigration reform I thought it was our best opportunity to live out our faith values in the political realm to take care for our neighbors and I still think that is the case,” said supporter Leora Malicdem.

“How you vote matters not just here in the central valley but for the whole country,” said Catalina Mendiola who supports reform.

Immigration is an issue close to her heart.  Her parents migrated to the United States hoping to provide more opportunity to their family.

“I think today we are standing on the side of love, love for our neighbors, love for our children, love for our community,” she said.

But not everyone supports reform.

“You know, we do have immigration reform, it’s called a constitution,” said a speaker from Bakersfield who does not support reform.

“I don’t think its fair for the government to expect hard working Americans to support the influx of the illegal aliens,” said Carol Looker of Bakersfield.

In the end, the city voted 5 to 2 to table the resolution and the topic of immigration indefinitely.

“This is not an issue for this council and it’s not an issue where we should act upon it,” said Ken Weir, Bakersfield City Council.

Supporters plan to continue pushing for immigration reform during a weekend rally in Bakersfield.


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