Carona goes after illegals who commit crimes…but is it politics or policy?

Late last week we found out that Orange County Sheriff Mike Carona wants to train his people to enforce federal immigration laws. His plan would include only those deputies assigned to the jails and to investigations. They will be able to use federal immigration databases for those foreign nationals who are suspected of felonies.

The usual suspects are up in arms over the new policy, including Amin David, a local Latino activist who serves as president of an organization called “Los Amigos,” and who also serves on
Carona’s community coalition, whatever that is. David is also an old friend of Nativo Lopez, and you have to wonder how Lopez is taking all of this.

Back in the day, when George Jaramillo worked for Carona, the Sheriff’s office openly courted left-leaning Latinos like David and Lopez. Now it seems that there has been a political shift at Carona’s office, to the right, particularly on issues pertaining to Latinos. It makes you wonder if this is simply what we should have expected once Jaramillo was fired. The guy in charge of politics at Carona’s office now is a fellow named Jon Fleischman. He is a longtime Republican strategist who has worked for the California Republican Party and who also once ran the California Republican Assembly, a grassroots Republican organization that is very conservative and very powerful in state GOP circles.

Personally, I find it interesting that Carona is doing all of this while immigration has become a huge issue in California, due to the work of the Minutmen. Their leader, Jim Gilchrist, is embroiled in a tough campaign against John Campbell for the 48th Congressional district. Could it be that Carona, who is also facing opposition for his reelection, is taking up the immigration issue, at least tangentially, in order to cultivate support from the right, and from influential members of the media, such as John and Ken over at KFI AM? How sincere is Carona? Remember this is they guy who once thought it was a good idea to put his name on every car in his department’s fleet.

I don’t find Carona’s new policy to be offensive. However, I just don’t trust him. His move seems to be more a matter of political calculation, and less a matter of policy, but only time will tell.

To read more about the Carona plan, go to

Also, in a related matter, it turns out that Carona has nothing on his opponent, Lt. Bill Hunt, re the DUI that occurred last week, that involved a friend and campaign supporter of Hunt. Martin Wisckol has a very enlightening article in the Register today about this issue, at Wisckol mentions that Carona may not even be able to investigate the matter due to conflict of interest. Well done Martin! Hunt obviously handled the matter professionally, and now the whole thing appears to be backfiring on Carona’s team.

About Art Pedroza