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Re: Menlo Park ordinance

From: domainremoved <Karen>
Date: Mon, 17 Apr 2017 08:42:39 -0700

Dear MP Councilmembers,


I write to share my support for the intentions of the Menlo Park Sancturary (or, as I prefer, “Safe”) City ordinance, and to express some concerns over the details.


Just a quick bit of background: a month or so ago, I attended the San Mateo County board of supervisors meeting intending to speak in support of a resolution of support for our immigrant communities, but fortunately, I was able to hear from immigrant rights attorneys from CLSEPA and the ACLU and Legal Aid of San Mateo County before I was called to make my comments. They had some valid concerns about the details of the language of the resolution which I was able to support in my comments. 


With that experience behind me, I am reaching out to immigrant rights attorneys to review our proposed ordinance.  In the meantime, I read through the Menlo Park ordinance carefully and although I am not an attorney, I do have a couple of concerns.  They are:



1) Section 2.58.010 D. seems to be in contradiction with 2.58.010 C.


In section D. it says “no employee of the City of Menlo Park shall inquire about the immigration status of an individual, including but not limited to a crime victim, witness or person who calls or approaches law enforcement personnel seeking assistance, unless necessary to investigate criminal activity by that individual or it is an element of the crime being reported.”


As I read this “it” in the final phrase, : “it is an element of the crime being reported” refers to immigration status, and thus the meaning is that MP Police won’t ask about immigration status unless immigration status is an element of the crime being reported. This seems to say that if someone reports a person as being undocumented, then it would be OK for MP Police to ask about immigration status, which is in contradiction with section C, which says:


City of Menlo Park officials, including its law enforcement officers, shall not administer federal immigration law, which is the exclusive authority of the

federal government and shall not take any direct action against an individual solely because of their immigration status, unless legally required to do so

pursuant to a valid federal criminal warrant.



2) Section 2.58.040 A. 4. I object to the word “solely” in this section. In Santa Cruz, the police cooperated with ICE on a drug/gang operation, and ICE took the opportunity to round up undocumented immigrants who were not involved in drugs or gang activity. This is an example of an operation that is not “solely” focused on the enforcement of federal immigration laws, but is nevertheless an operation we would not want Menlo Park Police to participate in.


-Karen Grove


Received on Mon Apr 17 2017 - 08:48:10 PDT

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