'Solidarity' against ordinance [update: 12:15 p.m. July 28]

Editor's note: The forum has been pushed back to 7 p.m. Thursday, according to Naui Huitzilopochtli.

COSTA MESA — An organization that has been involved in lawsuits over the city's immigration and anti-solicitation ordinances will hold a community forum a day before Arizona's new immigration law takes effect.

The gathering, scheduled for 7 tonight at Shalimar Park, is designed to answer questions about the city's policies toward illegal immigrants as well as inform people about Arizona's SB 1070.

"We want to get the day laborers and the community together to show solidarity," said Naui Huitzilopochtli, a member of the Tonantzin Collective, the immigrants' right group that is organizing the forum. "We believe that it's unconstitutional. We're questioning what is reasonable suspicion and we feel like [Costa Mesa Mayor] Allan Mansoor wants to promote these kinds of laws."

During the forum, the group also plans to show a documentary highlighting the struggles of day laborers in Costa Mesa and Orange.

The documentary will feature workers' journeys to find jobs and their encounters with law enforcement officials, Huitzilopochtli said.

Earlier this year, the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of day laborers, alleging that Costa Mesa's solicitation ordinance is unconstitutional because it violates workers' rights to free speech.

As part of a court agreement, Costa Mesa placed a moratorium on its ordinance pending a court ruling on a similar case involving the city of Redondo Beach. The courts upheld the Redondo case, but Costa Mesa has not yet lifted the moratorium on the law that bans people from actively soliciting work on streets, sidewalks, parking lots and other public places.

The City Council also passed a resolution this year declaring Costa Mesa a "Rule of Law" city, one that does not welcome illegal immigrants within its jurisdiction.

Costa Mesa is unfair in addressing illegal immigration concerns, Huitzilopochtli said.

"The people that attack you are always hiring you," he said. "The Republicans are the ones hiring illegal immigrants because they want cheap labor."

Nationwide protests are expected Thursday in opposition to Arizona's law, Huitzilopochtli said, adding that Orange County residents are expected to participate in a protest in Los Angeles.

If You Go

What: Community forum about immigration and day laborers

When: 7 tonight

Where: Shalimar Park, 782 Shalimar Drive, Costa Mesa

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