O.C. Board of Supervisors tacks to the right against the poor and undocumented

According to yesterday’s O.C. Register, Supervisor John Moorlach wants to make use of a state law that allows counties to make money by raising fines for traffic tickets. AS the Register puts it, “Supervisor John Moorlach has another idea. Tax illegal immigrants landing in Orange County jails.”

The idea raised the ire of Latino activists from O.C. to D.C. According to the Register, “Peter Zamora, acting regional counsel in the Washington, D.C., office of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, said he would await more specifics on the proposed Orange County tax before commenting but did note that such a plan “potentially raises a host of legal and constitutional concerns, not least of which is that only the federal government can generally regulate in the field of immigration.”

It strikes me that such a tax would amount to taxation without representation. Moorlach wants to use the money to “fund overburdened hospital emergency rooms.” Here’s a thought – why not provide low-cost clinics for the poor, so they don’t have to go to ER rooms in the first place?

I teach part-time at Cerritos College, for an apprenticeship program for open shop painters. The other day one of my students showed up with an awful laceration on one of his fingers. I pulled my first aid kit out of my SUV and showed the students how to treat such a wound.

After talking to the injured painter, I found out that his employer had not treated his wound and had not referred him to a clinic. He had violated state occupational health and safety, and worker’s compensation, laws in the process. I also found out that only one of my fifteen students had health insurance. My entire class that day was composed of Latino students.

If the fellow’s hand had gotten infected, he would have ended up in an ER room. And he likely would not have been able to pay the bill. Of course I advised him to go to a clinic and have them charge his employer. But he probably didn’t.

Many Americans don’t want to hear about problems with health insurance. And they are fed up with illegal immigrants. But they want to be able to hire cheap painters. They want to go to non-union grocery stores and pay less for more. They want cheap babysitters and household help. They like paying less than $6 for a hamburger combo meal. They just don’t want to pay the bill for the costs associated with fielding a vast force of underpaid undocumented workers.

It worries me that Trung Nguyen might replace Lou Correa on the O.C. Board of Supervisors. What a step down for Latinos in the First District. Nguyen has not hidden the fact that he despises the undocumented. Even as they wash his cars, mow his lawns and probably were involved in the printing of his campaign mailers.

Nguyen will now be able to team up with Moorlach and fellow conservative Supervisor Chris Norby – to form a board majority – and immigrants will pay the price.

Maybe Chris Prevatt is right. Lou Correa should have stayed on the Board of Supervisors. Now there is no one to speak up for Latinos and the poor in general. The ultimate irony is that Lynn Daucher, who was just appointed to head up the California Department for the Aging, would have served as a moderate State Senator. Correa was not needed for the 34th. The seat was not going to go to an extremist.

Benny Diaz may have lost in the Supervisorial election, but he will have his hands full opposing a Board of Supervisors that may as well be fitted with Stormtrooper outfits, when it comes to dealing with the poor and the undocumented.

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"Admin" is just editors Vern Nelson, Greg Diamond, or Ryan Cantor sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.