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Editorial: Protecting our community in the era of Trump

 

Earlier this month the Almanac published a long article about local people digging in to try to counter some of the emerging and anticipated pernicious consequences of Trump-era politics.

These citizen efforts range from participating in marches and rallies, to get-out-the-vote drives. California cities and counties have been getting involved as well, resisting recent Washington actions that threaten sanctuary cities and create an environment of fear among immigrants and the Muslim community.

Last week the Menlo Park City Council gave preliminary approval to two ordinances and passed a resolution that can accurately be trumpeted as "Resist Trump" measures. The Safe City ordinance, if given final approval next month, would codify the current police practice of limiting cooperation with federal immigration officials, identifying the small number of circumstances under which police detainees without documents authorizing them to stay in the U.S. can be held at the request of the federal agents.

The second ordinance, which also needs final council approval, would ban the use of city resources to provide federal agents with certain information about Menlo Park residents -- information such as religion, race, ethnicity, or country of origin. This ordinance is in direct response to statements then-candidate Trump made last year indicating he might support a nationwide Muslim registry -- an odious suggestion in a free society founded on ideals that include freedom of religion.

A resolution also approved that night calls on Congress to enact comprehensive immigration reform that, among other things, would include provisions allowing immigrants already here to earn legal residency and offer a clear path to citizenship.

The two ordinances might be seen as merely symbolic -- public statements that make clear a community's support of neighbors, co-workers and friends who are here without documents and who, in reaction to the threats emanating from Washington, might hesitate to report crime, send their kids to school or to the doctor, and continue participating in activities a healthy community offers. After all, the Safe City law would only codify current practice, and despite Republican rhetoric, there is no Muslim registry, or any other based on religion or ethnicity.

But given the erratic behavior of the country's highest-placed official, those symbolic gestures may well evolve into pragmatic strategies in the coming months. It's impossible to predict what new edict will issue from a White House in chaos, with a reckless president who vilifies judges whose legal rulings counter his ill-thought-out executive orders.

The council's actions last week have been loudly praised by some in the community, and hotly challenged as illegal by others. But these measures are legal and within local governments' legitimate power to enact.

We are in full support of the Menlo Park City Council's decision to go down this path, which may in the future prove necessary to prevent families from being torn apart and individuals from being ghettoized and unduly scrutinized on the basis of their religion.

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Related story: Menlo Park approves 'Safe City' ordinance.

Comments

65 people like this
Posted by Here we go again
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 30, 2017 at 8:26 am

Yeah, lets "resist" Trump as if anything is meaningfully effecting Menlo Park. The laughable Trump hysteria continues. The biggest threat this area faces is a proposed change in the tax structure, where state and local taxes can no longer be deducted causing local property values to possibly plummet, which would be a good thing for those who actually claim to want affordable housing and a fair tax system. Gosh, and he might not fund Brown's train boondoggle. Or gasp, the Tesla tax break might disappear. Lots to "resist".

The smug cloud is thick here.


27 people like this
Posted by Richard Hine
editor of The Almanac
on May 30, 2017 at 8:50 am

Richard Hine is a registered user.

We welcome your letters on this topic. Please submit letters for publication to letters@AlmanacNews.com. No more than 300 words, please. Include "Letter for publication" in the subject line.


21 people like this
Posted by Cartesian
a resident of Woodside School
on May 31, 2017 at 9:15 am

Cartesian is a registered user.

What separates us from third world countries is our rule of law, without which we would be facing real chaos as a nation. Therefore, I welcome a contingent of the 101st airborne to descend on Menlo Park to take over the Menlo Park Police Department, which is led by elitists in this super wealthy city. You can support protests, carry signs expressing your views, and go to the voting booth, but if you break the LAW, you are subject to the consequences. We, the people, have a right to know who is crossing our borders. And, in case you haven't been paying attention to the news, it is the religion of Islam that is in conflict with other religions all around the world, not the other way around. And their religion is tied into their government. We need to know that those among them who come here, do not mean us harm and the only way to ensure this as best we can is by vetting them.
Good lord, you have more to fear than Trump.


Like this comment
Posted by Community Advocate
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 31, 2017 at 11:09 am

Community Advocate is a registered user.

A Trump administration order to deport a man who entered the country illegally nearly three decades ago and became a respected businessman in Hawaii was "inhumane" and "contrary to the values of the country and its legal system," a federal judge wrote Tuesday in an unusually impassioned opinion.

"President Trump has claimed that his immigration policies would target the 'bad hombres,'" 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Stephen Reinhardt said. "The government's decision to remove Magana Ortiz shows that even the 'good hombres' are not safe."

Reinhardt said the 9th Circuit lacked authority to block the March order to deport Ortiz to Mexico. Still, he said it was difficult to see how the order was consistent with President Donald Trump's promise of an immigration system with heart.

Reinhardt said Ortiz, who came to the U.S. in 1989, was well-established in Hawaii's coffee farming industry, paid his taxes and had three U.S. citizen children from whom he would be torn away.

Nicole Navas, a U.S. Department of Justice spokeswoman, said the agency declined comment on the case.

His opinion in the Ortiz case came as the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday sided with a Mexican immigrant who faced deportation after he was convicted of having consensual sex with his underage girlfriend.

The justices ruled unanimously that Juan Esquivel-Quintana had committed a crime under California law, but his conduct did not violate federal immigration law.

The rulings come against a backdrop of stepped up immigration enforcement by the Trump administration. U.S. immigration arrests increased nearly 40 percent in early 2017 from a comparable period last year, according to figures provided by immigration officials. However, actual deportations were down from late January to late April compared with a year ago.

Ortiz, 43, won a reprieve from deportation in 2014 and was seeking legal status on the basis that his wife and children are U.S. citizens when the government "without any explanation" ordered him in March to report for removal the next month, according to Reinhardt.

Ortiz has at least one conviction for driving under the influence, but Reinhardt said that was not the basis for his removal order.

Ortiz appealed to the 9th Circuit in an effort to block the removal order. Now, he will be returned to Mexico and face a 10-year bar on his return, the judge said.


5 people like this
Posted by Brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on May 31, 2017 at 1:39 pm

Brian is a registered user.

Community Advocate,

Just to be clear a convicted felon does quality, to any rational person, as a "bad hombre". We are not talking about someone caught for a minor crime we are talking about a person arrested and convicted in a court of law of a felony, one that put others at risk.


12 people like this
Posted by Mrs. B
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jun 1, 2017 at 7:08 pm

Mrs. B is a registered user.

This editorial is appalling; it advocates LAWLESSNESS. What makes you and my fellow citizens who support this bogus “Safe City” ordinance the arbiters of the Federal laws that are fit to follow? Why are Federal immigration statutes, dutifully enacted by Congress, beneath contempt and able to be flaunted at will? Perhaps I view Federal tax rules as “unworthy” of my adherence. Should I be given equal opportunity to “resist” all those Federal laws, rules, decrees, standards (yes, the glorious Federal government issues these by the basketful) with which I disagree? Can I claim some higher and nobler purpose to my “resistance”, as you advocate for immigration statutes? And why is protecting the borders of our country such an unseemly activity? Why do we need to provide “sanctuary” to people who are in this country illegally, sucking up resources for which I pay as a taxpayer? Your pompous statement that we need to support “neighbors, co-workers and friends who are here without documents” is nonsense. What you advocate is a call to “chaos”; chaos is not coming from the executive orders emanating from the current White House, which supports law ENFORCEMENT.

Moreover, support for an ordinance that would ban the use of city resources to provide federal agents with information such as religion, race, ethnicity and country of origin for Menlo Park residents is beyond comprehension in its blatant hypocrisy. “Progressives” have been only too happy to track precisely this information from every employer, college, university, school, country club, financial institution and insurance company in this country for decades, and then use these unending reams of data to crucify these organizations with allegations of discrimination, oftentimes (usually) without any evidence of intent, but merely on the premise of “disparate impact.” If it is now unwise to collect all such classifications of individuals, I demand that you advocate the rescission of every rule, law, and statutory requirement for “diversity” statistics, “equal opportunity” statistics, and other such liberal blather from every organization who has been coerced into providing it. In fact, why not REFUND to every organization who has had to pay extorted monies in settlement of discrimination lawsuits using such offensive classification data? Does that sound “fair"?


12 people like this
Posted by Mrs. B
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jun 1, 2017 at 7:08 pm

Mrs. B is a registered user.

This editorial is appalling; it advocates LAWLESSNESS. What makes you and my fellow citizens who support this bogus “Safe City” ordinance the arbiters of the Federal laws that are fit to follow? Why are Federal immigration statutes, dutifully enacted by Congress, beneath contempt and able to be flaunted at will? Perhaps I view Federal tax rules as “unworthy” of my adherence. Should I be given equal opportunity to “resist” all those Federal laws, rules, decrees, standards (yes, the glorious Federal government issues these by the basketful) with which I disagree? Can I claim some higher and nobler purpose to my “resistance”, as you advocate for immigration statutes? And why is protecting the borders of our country such an unseemly activity? Why do we need to provide “sanctuary” to people who are in this country illegally, sucking up resources for which I pay as a taxpayer? Your pompous statement that we need to support “neighbors, co-workers and friends who are here without documents” is nonsense. What you advocate is a call to “chaos”; chaos is not coming from the executive orders emanating from the current White House, which supports law ENFORCEMENT.


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