Huntington Park, California, is a city just south of downtown Los Angeles, adjacent to the infamously corrupt cities of Vernon and Bell.

Recently the Huntington Park Mayor Karina Macias and three members of its city council Graciela Ortiz, Jhonny Pineda, and Marilyn Sanabria, appointed two illegal aliens (Julian Zatarain, and Francisco Medina) to the Parks and Recreation and Health and Education city commission seats.

I joined with other activists from We the People Rising to go to the Huntington Park City Council meeting to confront those responsible for showing preferences to immigration law breakers and placing them ahead of citizens.

There are many reasons that one might oppose what the Huntington Park City Council had done, and while at the meeting many of our members and local residents made stupendous arguments.

What I wasn’t prepared for was when some of the local residents started to bring up detailed evidence and accusations of public corruption, nepotism, pay to play, voter fraud, and racketeering, by Mayor Karina Macias and three of the members of the City Council.

We came there to oppose the appointments of illegal immigrants to city commission seats, but left with knowledge of the entrenched and virtually unchecked corruption that we are told runs this city.

To understand Huntington Park, one needs to understand that an estimated 40 to 50 percent of Huntington Park’s residents are illegal aliens.

At first glance I would have said that Huntington Park is a city in Los Angeles County that Americans had left behind, but I found out, that is not entirely true. Among its ranks were a group of a dozen or so dedicated residents that were there opposing the appointment of illegal aliens and fighting the corruption that they see. These residents are Hispanic Americans, who do not buy into the divisive ethno-politics of the pro-illegal alien side. Their main emphasis is to expose the rampant corruption in their city.

The group of Huntington Park residents that I met all seemed to voice a sense of desperation, feeling trapped in a world of corruption and lawlessness, and a world that didn’t operate under the same laws and customs that they felt the rest of the country did. Yet this small determined group fought valiantly, insisting that the Huntington Park City Council needs to uphold the laws of the United States and protect the rights of citizens and legal residents.

The residents that were battling the Huntington Park city council, including Councilman Valentin Amezquita seemed to be  truly impressed (bordering on amazement) that Americans from outside the area cared about what was happening in Huntington Park and thanked us sincerely for coming down to help them.

Just like the City of Bell, Huntington Park is a city with few English-speakers, a large population of illegal aliens and non-citizens, and little or no interaction with the rest of American society.

Neighboring Bell and Vernon are prime examples of what happens in environments like this. Where respect for immigration laws has been undermined by government officials seeking political advantage, respect for other laws quickly dissipates as well, eroding the foundation of civil society. Sadly, this pathology of corruption is taking root in all too many places in California and across the nation.

The author of this guest opinion is Greg Aprahamian.