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Valley Park alderman could override immigration veto tonight

By Adam Allington, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – Aldermen in the St. Louis suburb of Valley Park will meet tonight (Monday), and they might again take up the city's controversial illegal immigration ordinance.

Two weeks ago, they voted 7-1 to remove language from Valley Park's housing code requiring the city to verify the citizenship of prospective renters. A judge had thrown the law out, but Mayor Jeffery Whitteaker has vetoed those changes.

Alderman Dan Adams says he supports the intent of the original ordinance, but says residents are tired of fighting the issue in court.

"Unfortunately the mayor made a few remarks that I think he regrets," Adams said, in reference to a recent article in the Riverfront Times in which Whitteaker referred to Hispanics as "wetbacks" and "Cousin Puerto Rico and Taco Whoever."

"But none the less," Adams continued "he made them and I think it kinda took this away from being a noble battle to one more of a personal issue and the residents that have spoke to me have told me that they're no longer in favor of moving forward."

In order to overturn the mayor's veto, the board of aldermen will need a supermajority of six votes. Despite the seven votes the bill got originally, Adams says he not sure if they'll get the needed tally.

Opponents of the measure are threatening more litigation.