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 Kennewick stops short of making it illegal to be homeless 
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Post Kennewick stops short of making it illegal to be homeless
Kennewick council rejects opinion to evict illegal immigrants
By John Trumbo, Herald staff writer

The city of Kennewick won't be booting illegal aliens out of the city.
The city council declared Tuesday it has no jurisdiction or authority to do what Loren Nichols suggested at last month's council meeting.

Nichols pressed the council two weeks ago for an answer to his request that the city have a policy banning illegal immigrants from living in Kennewick.
The council gave its answer Tuesday after hearing the advice of city attorney Lisa Beaton.

Beaton said the city can only prosecute misdemeanor violations, and that any violations of the Immigration and Nationality Act fall outside Kennewick's legal reach.

"We have no authority to prosecute criminal violations of (that) act," Beaton said.

In addition, the state would have to change laws allowing city police to arrest someone (for illegal entry into the U.S.) without having personally observed the violation, she said.

"This council doesn't have the will. They just have excuses for not doing the right thing," Nichols said.

"Illegal aliens don't have rights. That's the bottom line," he added.
Councilman Steve Young said the city has no business stepping into a constitutional issue.

"It is unconstitutional to chase anybody based on race or nationality. This has gone on long enough," Young said.

Mayor Tom Moak took that as the final word.
"That covers it," Moak said.

Then, in a direct comment to Nichols, Moak said: "You've asked us for our opinion and we've given that to you."

But Nichols, who came to the meeting expecting he would be allowed to speak to the council, was flabbergasted that his moment on the council's agenda under "New Business" had been cut short.

"May I speak?" he asked.

"No," Moak said.

Earlier, during the public comment portion of the meeting, a woman who identified herself only as Patty with an address on Sloan Road in Kennewick spoke in support of having illegal aliens in Kennewick. A public records search shows a Patricia Barnes living at that address.

"As an orchardist I am concerned. We are dependent on (them) for our businesses. I don't know how I would exist without non-English-speaking people (being my temporary employees for ag-related seasonal employment)," Patty said.

Later, Patty, who refused to give her last name to the Herald, said her comments were about both illegal aliens and those who are in the U.S. legally but do not speak English.

Nichols left the council meeting in a huff.

"That was unsatisfactory. They didn't let me speak. To have an item on the agenda with my name on it, under new business, and not allow me to come to the podium -- I've never seen that happen. It's unacceptable. I felt like I was railroaded," Nichols said.

Councilman Bob Parks showed interested in Nichols' proposal by asking Kennewick Police Capt. Scott Child if officers who stop drivers for legal issues and then discover there is no personal identification can ask for an immigration hold.

Child said that can happen, and if it does then federal authorities are contacted.

Parks has gone on record saying he also is concerned about illegal aliens in the Tri-Cities and would support an English-only language policy in Kennewick.

source: http://www.tri-cityherald.com/901/story ... ni_popular

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Thu Oct 22, 2009 7:43 pm
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