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Costa Mesa Mayor Allan Mansoor's ICE proposal melts away under scrutiny

by Duane J. Roberts Sunday, Mar. 12, 2006 at 1:31 AM

Police Chief John Hensley, the city's top cop, offered testimony which contradicted many of the things that Mansoor has been saying about the ICE proposal. Under tough questioning, Hensley not only admitted that the Mayor's scheme wouldn't have any impact upon "illegal immigration," but said there aren't enough "facts" to suggest it will do anything to fight crime.

Saturday, March 11, 2006



Police Chief says the scheme probably won't stop crime

or "illegal immigration"


COSTA MESA, CA -- H.L. Mencken once wrote that "the

whole aim of practical politics is to keep the

populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to

safety) by menacing it with an endless series of

hobgoblins, all of them imaginary." If he were alive

today, Mencken would discover to his amusement that

this truism is still being put into practice by

opportunistic politicians who run the City of Costa


During the past several months, Mayor Allan Mansoor, a

Minuteman supporter, has been thumping his chest and

proclaiming to the whole world that his proposal to

allow city police to enforce federal immigration law

will protect the citizenry from crime. Mansoor argues

such a program is needed in his hometown because

"illegal aliens" are coming by the droves to rape,

rob, assault, and kill everyone they can lay their

hands on.

Up until now, nobody holding the reigns of power at

Costa Mesa City Hall has bothered to mount a serious

challenge to any of the unfounded claims that Mansoor

has repeatedly been making in remarks to reporters

from newspapers, magazines, radio and television

stations from all over the United States.

But at last Tuesday's meeting of the Costa Mesa City

Council, that changed. Police Chief John Hensley, the

city's top cop, offered testimony which contradicted

many of the things that Mansoor has been saying about

the ICE proposal. Under tough questioning, Hensley not

only admitted that the Mayor's scheme wouldn't have

any impact upon "illegal immigration," but said there

aren't enough "facts" to suggest it will do anything

to fight crime.

For about thirty minutes, Councilwomen Linda Dixon and

Katrina Foley peppered Hensley with a series

questions that appeared to have been asked for the

purpose of learning just exactly what benefit the

community would derive from establishing a partnership

between the Bureau of Immigration and Customs

Enforcement (ICE) and the city police department. The

lawman's responses to them were pretty revealing.

Dixon started off the first round of questioning by

asking Hensley how many "serious crimes" are committed

in Costa Mesa each year? About 4,000, he replied; of

that amount, less than 150 of them met the "aggravated

felony" critera that would be covered under the ICE

proposal. When Dixon asked how many of the latter

number were committed by "illegal aliens," the lawman

said he didn't really know since no data had been


Then Dixon inquired about the cost of the ICE

proposal. At first, Hensley said a one time cost of

about 0,000 would be needed to train thirty

officers within his department to perform the task of

enforcing federal immigration law. But City Manager

Allan Roeder quickly interjected, saying those were

just training expenses; the estimate doesn't take into

account wages, liability issues, and potential legal

costs. (In later testimony, Hensley admitted training

expenses could end up becoming a yearly thing as

officers rotated between different assignments)

Hensley was then asked by Dixon if the ICE proposal

guarantees that "illegal aliens" who have been

deported back to their country of origin won't return

to the community:

DIXON: Does the ICE program

ensure that those that are

deported wouldn't

re-enter the country

through the porous borders

which the federal

government for its own

reasons appears unwilling

to control?


Dixon quizzed the lawman about existing procedures and

the tasks his officers would have to perform to get an

"immigration hold" placed on an arrestee.

"So how much time will be taken away from our officers

protecting Costa Mesa residents to do the federal

government's job?" Dixon asked the Chief.

"A police officer," said Hensley, "would be removed

from their normal and typical duties" for "half a

shift" doing paperwork and other chores for ICE.

When Dixon asked if partnering with ICE changed any

other policies, Hensley responded that all it really

does is give Costa Mesa more "local control."

"So then," said Dixon, "there isn't a whole lot more

that ICE will provide us with except taking our

officers off the streets protecting Costa Mesa


At first, Hensley was reluctant to answer this

question. But after a couple of remarks, he stated the

ICE proposal will only give them more power to

"process" arrestees:

HENSLEY: You will know when

we transport somebody

to county jail that may

be in the country in

violation of immigration

laws, you will know

they have been processed.

You won't have to wonder

what happens to them

when they get to county.

In other words, the ICE proposal won't stop crime or

ensure that an undocumented worker who committed an

"aggravated felony" will eventually face deportation.

It just guarantees that an arrestee's naturalization

status will be "screened" before they are brought to

the Orange County jail. {1}

After Dixon finished, Foley stepped up to the plate.

Although the questions she posed to the lawman were

more direct than anything her colleague had asked of

him, they weren't much different.

Foley started off the second round by asking Hensley

point blank if he himself was opposed to the ICE

proposal and knew of anybody else in law enforcement

who supported it:

FOLEY: Chief Hensley, I

think we all know up

here that when you were

consulted about this

program, you did not

support having local

law enforcement

participating in this

program. Isn't that


HENSLEY: That is true.

FOLEY: And are you aware

of any Chief of Police

in the County of Orange

that supports participation

in such a program?

HENSLEY: I am not.

FOLEY: How about any

Police Chief in the United


HENSLEY: Well, I know

there is at least one,

because I got an email from

him. So ... uh.

FOLEY: Is that the only

one you are aware of?

After the laughter subsided, Foley then asked Hensley

if he felt that ICE training would be a useful tool in

helping any of his police officers protect the

community from crime:

FOLEY: As far as your

professional expertise is

concerned, do you think

that this ICE training

will actually help our

officers prevent crime?

HENSLEY: I plead the

fifth. Your honor, you know

what, I don't have any

facts, and that's what my

business is about....

Later on, Foley quizzed the lawman about "local

control." Did the Costa Mesa have any "control"

over arrestees they had placed an "immigration hold"

on after they were no longer in the custody of the

city police?

FOLEY: Is there any

reason for us to believe

that we actually have

control over a suspect

who has booked in the

county jail, and processed

for trial, potentially

convicted, done their jail

time, and then do we have

any local control over

whether or not that person

is actually deported at

that point after they've served

their time?

HENSLEY: No, we don't.

Foley continued questioning Hensley along these lines

for a couple of minutes longer. After she finished,

the podium was then turned back to Mansoor, who

appeared quite nervous.

Although the Mayor did take a moment to ask Hensley

two brief questions, his colleagues, Councilmen Eric

Bever and Gary Monahan, basically sat quietly in their

seats. They said nothing.

It's clear the testimony had it's toll on Mansoor.

When Foley was openly critical of one of his remarks,

he tried to cut her off in much the same way he did to

Coyotl Tezcatlipoca on January 3rd.

"Mr. Mayor," she responded strongly, "I respectfully

ask that you allow me to finish my comments. This is a

pattern that you have of interrupting people and

preventing them from finishing their statements."

The audience clapped and cheered wildly.

It's clear that the questions that both Councilwomen

asked the city's top cop were devasting to Mansoor;

they revealed a number of facts which pretty much

knocked the wind out his sails.

Although it's premature to say what impact any of

these revelations will have upon Mansoor's standing in

the public eye, it is becoming obvious that Costa Mesa

residents have become the victims of a hoax.


{1} It should be noted ICE officers already check the

natualization status of everybody that is brought to

the Orange County jail, making Costa Mesa's proposal

an unnecessary duplication of ongoing, existing



To see Police Chief John Hensley's testimony before

the Costa Mesa City Council and the confrontation

between Councilwoman Foley and Mayor Mansoor, please

go to the following link:

Then click on the "View Video" feature for Tuesday,

March 7, 2006. Jump to "Reading Folder."

Report this post as:

Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 15 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
Well done smart cat Sunday, Mar. 12, 2006 at 8:12 PM
The Emperor Exposed Finally Sunday, Mar. 12, 2006 at 11:34 PM
Put on the Spot BR Monday, Mar. 13, 2006 at 3:50 AM
You're On The Spot Nazi Hunter Monday, Mar. 13, 2006 at 4:06 AM
Damn Good Story Nazi Hunter Monday, Mar. 13, 2006 at 4:09 AM
Pig Chief? Quizling Monday, Mar. 13, 2006 at 8:20 AM
Re: Put on the Spot Duane J. Roberts Monday, Mar. 13, 2006 at 2:38 PM

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