Welcome to 'Rule of Law' City (and No Illegal Immigrants Allowed)

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," May 24, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Well, there's a new twist in the illegal immigration fight. The city of Costa Mesa, California, just declared itself a "rule of law" city. Now, what does that mean?

Costa Mesa Mayor Allan Mansoor joins us live. Good evening, Mayor.


VAN SUSTEREN: So Mayor, tell me, what is a "rule of law" community? Because I sort of assumed that we were all sort of a rule of law community. But go ahead and tell me. What does this one mean?

MANSOOR: Sure. Well, basically, the council voted to state by resolution that Costa Mesa is not a sanctuary city, and we are, in fact, a rule of law city when it comes to upholding our immigration laws. And I felt that was important because many cities, you know, as you mentioned, call themselves sanctuary cities, or some have policies or neutral policies and they don't really work proactively with ICE. And I felt it's important to not be afraid to address those issues and work with the federal government and all levels of government in upholding our immigration laws.

VAN SUSTEREN: Is there any doubt -- I mean, I take it your city has not been a so-called sanctuary city, is that correct, sir?

MANSOOR: Well, no. I -- As a matter, I'm trying to be consistent with some of the things I've done in the past. I put forward a proposal several years ago to utilize the 287-G program. But ICE came out and said they would put an ICE agent in our jail, and that has been very effective - - 1,300 criminals removed from our community that -- people that were here illegally and committing crimes.

But I think it's important for the public to also understand that just because someone is arrested and commits a crime and is eligible for deportation doesn't mean they will automatically be deported. And so there are loopholes. There's other avenues I want to explore. And so I'm putting some -- going to be bringing some ideas forward for discussion for the council to work on and look at and discuss that I believe can help make our policies a little more stronger.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, does this rule of law resolution by your city council change anything, or is it simply merely a statement by your community? Does it in any way change the way you have people are detained who are illegal or what happens to people who are illegal, or is this simply a statement by your community?

MANSOOR: It sets a tone for policy statement. And as I mentioned, I want to bring some other things forward. There are many things that communities can do. And that's what I felt is important. A lot of times, you know, politicians are afraid. They get called names. The name-calling starts or people say, Oh, it's a federal issue. I'm saying, No, we can address it locally. There are things like e-verify that the city could be using. Private businesses could be using it. We can look at some of our policies out in the field, and we can also look at some of our policies when someone is actually in custody. I'm sorry, were you saying something?

VAN SUSTEREN: I'm trying to figure out exactly -- I'm trying to -- I'm trying to understand, though, like, what's the big -- you know, if there is any difference between before the resolution and after the resolution. I'm trying to think, as a practical matter, is there anything different in your community?

MANSOOR: It sets the tone on policy. It says that we will work cooperatively with the federal government. And I think that's a clear distinction...

VAN SUSTEREN: Has there been any doubt -- has there -- has there been any doubt before this day that you would work cooperatively with the federal government?

MANSOOR: Well, you know, as best as we can, we do cooperate with ICE, and that was as a result of the program I put forward several years ago. But as I mentioned, there are loopholes and there are other things that can be done to make our policies stronger. But this really also boils down to making a statement publicly that we shouldn't cower away from this issue. And I think many elected officials do. And I think for this to truly be effective, other cities have to join in. This is no different than taking on other issues in our community.

VAN SUSTEREN: One quick question. We only have 15 seconds left. Just so that we know, geographically, how far is your city from a border, a foreign border? And I take it Mexico's probably your closest one. How far away is it, sir?

MANSOOR: I'd say a couple hours' drive.

VAN SUSTEREN: Mayor, thank you very much. And we'll continue to watch it. Thank you, sir.

MANSOOR: Thank you.

Content and Programming Copyright 2010 Fox News Network, Inc. Copyright 2010 Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.