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Sanctuary City discussion - thank you

From: domainremoved <Karen>
Date: Fri, 21 Apr 2017 11:04:35 -0700

Dear Mayor Keith, and councilmembers,


Thank you all for your attention to the community’s request to enact a “sanctuary/refuge/safe” city ordinance in Menlo Park.


Mayor Keith, I particularly want to thank you for your leadership during the discussion.  I appreciate your sharp attention to, and understanding and appreciation for, the important details.  As I said in my comments, if we are to call ourselves a safe city (or any other such name) then we should be sure that our policies support the assertion.  You asked the crucial questions, and helped all of us in the audience by repeating and highlighting the important facts.  It was clear that you prepared for the meeting by getting input from stakeholders before the meeting.  You encouraged residents to respect all opinions, and you modeled that by giving staff and council members the opportunity to respond to points that contradicted their recommendations. 


I’d like to reiterate the point I made about eliminating the exceptions to non-cooperation in cases of “significant risk to public safety.”  We have a system of criminal justice that is not perfect, but does balance prosecution and defense, is overseen by judge and jury, and is public.  In contrast, ICE is purely an enforcement agency, with few to no safeguards (some call it “rogue”).  Our criminal justice system provides ample opportunity to protect public safety through charging, prosecuting, and sentencing, and once someone has been convicted and served their time, they have paid their debt to society and must be allowed a fresh start.  For the criminal justice system to use federal immigration law and enforcement to further punish immigrants in our community violates our American values of equal treatment under the law.


Of course, even with no cooperation from local law enforcement and city government, no city can guarantee its residents safety from deportation, because ICE has plenty of opportunity and power to act on their own.  That’s why I appreciate that we voted to become a Welcoming City, and I encourage city council to dedicate sufficient resources to implement the Welcoming City recommendations.  I hope that “Know Your Rights” trainings for everyone in the community are part of that program.


Many thanks to all of you for your thoughtful consideration of this issue.

-Karen Grove








Received on Fri Apr 21 2017 - 11:09:57 PDT

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