Tempers Flair After City Council Member's Proposal - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Tempers Flair After City Council Member's Proposal

KENNEWICK, Wash. - A city council workshop was filled with on-lookers passionately divided on the topic of people illegally living in our community.  The turnout comes after a Kennewick City Councilman proposed a measure that would make it illegal to employ or rent to illegal aliens.

A visibly upset Kennewick Mayor Jim Beaver said there was a misunderstanding by many that Tuesday night's workshop meeting would be open for public discussion.

There were some outbursts during the meeting but real emotions were let loose as soon as council member Bob Parks' recent proposal making it illegal to employ and rent to illegal immigrants wrapped up.

"We have to take America back," said one woman who refused to identify herself.

The woman and about a dozen others, all wearing anti-illigal immigrant t-shirts later held picket signs with slogans in support of Parks' proposal outside of city hall.  

Maria Rodriguez-Salazar with the League of United Latin American Citizens said the proposal would make Kennewick appear racist.

"Look up the definition in the dictionary.  I'm not racist, I'm a patriot," said a man who would not identify himself.

Beaver said the measure will not move forward.