California County’s Food Service Law Shot Down

County officials in San Bernardino, California, recently shot down a plan to require county restaurants and eating establishments to tell diners if the restaurant did checks on their employer’s immigration forms or green card status.

Only the plan’s sponsor, County Supervisor Neil Derry, voted for the plan; all others handedly rejected the idea.

Derry’s proposed plan would require eateries to have a color-coded card to show an establishment’s adherence to the E-Verify federal immigration status database.

Although Derry believed that the measure would increase the public health of restaurants, critics of the plan believed it would spurn larger cultural issues in neighborhoods.

“It would have just increased red tape and divided communities,” Sara Sadhwani of the California Immigrant Policy Center told The Press-Enterprise.

Derry’s past attempts at more stringent immigration laws in San Bernardino have also failed, and have been criticized as going against the overall feeling on the subject for the state. Currently, California has one of the largest immigration populations of any state in the nation, yet has remained largely tolerant and flexible in its immigration policies. In 2011, the state enacted a law that allows the children of undocumented immigrants to pay the same rate for tuition as California residents with U.S. citizenship. The law, which went into effect on January 1, was backed by many government officials and immigration advocates throughout the state.

“While many states have chosen to legislate hate and division by approving anti-immigrant laws, California’s governor sends a strong message that investing in today’s student population, regardless of their immigration status, is smart, practical and the right thing to do,” Angelica Salas of the Coalition for Human Rights of Los Angeles said in a statement.