Justice with a Bay View, but Cold Wind in Chicago

Oakland has joined neighboring San Francisco in reaffirming its status as a sanctuary city and pledging to refuse helping the feds conduct immigration raids, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Both Mayor Ron Dellums and Council President Ignacio De La Fuente have proposed resolution to these effects. The Chronicle says de la Fuente's bill "would give refuge to any undocumented immigrant regardless of national origin."

It's important to note that these sanctuary declarations are not new -- cities passed them in the 1980's and are merely making a statement by reinforcing -- and updating -- them now.

Police Chief Wayne Tucker said that local police are "too busy" fighting crime to waste time helping enforce immigration laws.

City Councilwoman Jean Quan "noted that her great-grandfather was allowed to come to the this country to work but was not allowed to apply for citizenship. She said it is important not to repeat the mistakes of past generations. She said that immigration raids break up families because many children born here have parents who are here illegally."

She makes several important points here. First, keeping families together is the humane and right course to take. Removing parents of U.S. citizen kids not only devastates the people involved, but it also might make the kids wards of the state, suddenly supported by taxpayer money. So, this arguement should make sense to the family-values/small-government party, which is what the GOP is supposed to be. It does seem to make sense to some of them -- even Pres. Bush pays it lip service, though his insistence on enforcement alongside a path to citizenship make dubious those claims. But too many on both sides of the aisle make it clear we value the families of native-born USians only.

Second, avoiding the mistakes of the past seems like an obvious goal. The main problem with that is people don't know enough about the past. For instance, anti-immigration folks say things like "Well, my grandparents came here legally, so these people should, too." But, well, the legal process was just a wee bit different then. Remember, no one is saying "everybody should be illegal". They're saying "no one should be illegal", that the laws must change. And why?

The Mayor said it best:

"Immigration is the Civil Rights issue of our time," Dellums said. "In order to realize the Model City vision, we must treat everyone fairly and humanely. It is not appropriate policy to intimidate and harm people that are already here. There are millions of immigrants in this country and we must approach this issue with enlightened and compassionate immigration policy."

But what's up in the rest of the country? Read this from UPI:

Federal raid triggers Chicago protest
Apr 25 01:01 PM US/Eastern
CHICAGO, April 25 (UPI) -- Residents of a predominately Hispanic Chicago neighborhood took to the streets in protest after heavily armed U.S. immigration agents raided businesses.

"Soldiers bombarded our neighborhood," Baltazar Enriquez told the Chicago Sun-Times. "It looked like they were marching into Iraq."

Heavily armed federal officers in bullet-proof vests, locked down a strip mall Tuesday in a Southwest Side neighborhood known as Little Village, Enriquez said. The raid triggered a protest of 250 to 300 people that lasted into the evening, the newspaper said.

The federal agents were searching for sellers of fake Social Security and resident alien green cards, authorities said, refusing to say how many people were arrested in the search.

Those arrested were to appear in federal court Wednesday. Neighborhood activists said the raid may have been to intimidate people from participating in a downtown May 1 march and rally to protest recent federal raids nationwide, the Chicago Tribune said.

(Copyright 2007 by United Press International)

, , , , ,, , , , .


Post a Comment

<< Home