- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California is distancing itself from comments made by an official who mocked elderly residents during a Rialto City Council meeting last week.

Luis Nolasco, a community engagement and policy advocate at the ACLU of Southern California, made the comments in response to a canceled meeting at City Hall that was supposed to discuss Rialto becoming a sanctuary city for illegal immigrants.

Mr. Nolasco, a 26-year-old Rialto resident who supports the city becoming a sanctuary, said the Rialto City Council’s canceling of the meeting was “caving in” to backlash by people who did not live there.

He stood up to speak at the Jan. 10 meeting and stereotyped the other attendees as a bunch of white people who “have probably like five years left.”

“I’m an actual resident of Rialto, unlike half of these people here who for some reason decide to come to our city,” he said. “This is my town.”

“The discussion here is about who are we talking about and who are we trying to protect,” he continued. “The people in this room are not representative of Rialto. Sorry to break it, but growing up here, white people were the minority.”

“We gotta talk about the future, right? I mean, it’s kind of mean for me to say it but these people have probably like five years left,” Mr. Nolasco said, drawing an audible groan from the attendees.

A video of the meeting showed several of the attendees were white and elderly.

“Look at myself and the other youth that are here, we are the future,” Mr. Nolasco said. “And we don’t want to see an America that is hateful. I don’t want my kids, if I continue to live here in Rialto, to live in a city that is gonna constantly target them.”

The ACLU of Southern California told The Daily Caller Tuesday that Mr. Nolasco’s comments were not consistent with ACLU policy but they support his right to free speech.

“Everyone in America has a Constitutional right to free speech, and the employees of the ACLU of Southern California are no exception,” the group said. “However, we wish to make clear that Luis Nolasco was not speaking on behalf of the ACLU at the Rialto City Council meeting and his statements are not consistent with our stated policy. Nevertheless, we support his right to freely express his personal opinion to his elected representatives.”

City council members at the Jan. 10 meeting heard several people voice their opinions about an effort by newly elected Rialto City Councilman Rafael Trujillo to discuss the possibility of designating the city a haven for illegal immigrants. Mr. Trujillo’s planned December meeting to discuss the idea was canceled after a wave of backlash and he later apologized, calling it “a lesson learned,” The Press-Enterprise reported.

The ACLU official’s incendiary comments were reportedly the exception at the Jan. 10 meeting as many of the speakers blasted the effort to designate Rialto a sanctuary.

The meeting drew several members of The Remembrance Project — an advocacy group for families whose loved ones were killed by illegal immigrants — who traveled from cities as far away as Torrance, Brea and Orange, The Press-Enterprise reported.

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