Opinion: Fixing streets or defending undocumented immigrants: Which is more important to L.A.?

Protesters gathered outside the Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration on April 11.
(Dakota Smith / Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and County Supervisor Hilda Solis in December announced the creation of a $10-million legal aid fund to “hire lawyers to defend local immigrants without legal status.” (“A $10-million fund will help immigrants fight deportations. But should it help those with violent criminal convictions?” April 17)

My street hasn’t been swept for years. When I tried to find out why, I was told that my area is not “on the list” because there are no longer enough machines and people to drive them. Services that I continue to pay for have been stopped.

If there is enough money around to help illegal immigrants, surely there is enough to begin sweeping my dirty street again. Shouldn’t citizens come before illegal residents?


Arline George, Reseda


To the editor: So-called sanctuary cities and the state of California say they do not want to spend their precious resources on enforcing federal immigration laws because it is not the function of local government to do so.

Now for the irony: Both the city and the county of Los Angeles will spend millions of taxpayer dollars to defend people in federal immigration courts where the only action is a right to residency or potential deportation. In these cases, state laws are not at issue.

Either immigration is solely a federal function or it is not. It can’t be both depending on politics.

If California feels immigrants deserve publicly funded defenders in federal court, then it should use our huge presence in Congress to change the law and provide lawyers from the federal level.

Robert Braley, Bakersfield

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