“My mistake thinking well of sanctuary cities”

When the idea of “sanctuary cities” arose, I at first felt sympathetic, thinking they were simply trying to help the poorest of our fellow human beings to find shelter and a job.

But strangely enough it wasn’t just the murder of a young woman by an illegal immigrant in San Francisco that changed my mind.  The non-cooperation by San Francisco authorities with federal immigration officials resulted in an awful gap that this man was able to walk through.

All the more so, what makes me think that “sanctuary cities” is a bad idea is — the same reasoning as the Supreme Court’s decision upholding same-sex marriage.  The jubilation over the decision is that finally a couple who got married in, say, New York knew that their marriage would be honored as legal anywhere in the nation.  Sexual minorities finally felt as if they had protection anywhere in the nation.  The central authority of the federal government was upheld over the desires of individual states.

The idea of “sanctuary cities” goes against the authority of the central government.  Cities have decided they’re going to do what they want.

But this isn’t just about sympathy for immigrants. It is an alarmingly naïve assumption — that ALL immigrants want to come here to find an honest job or freedom for their kids or to somehow help their family.  This is like people who say, “I believe people are basically good.”  WANTING them to be basically good doesn’t mean they ARE!

There’s more to immigration than just America as opportunity; there’s also America as opportunity for those who want to take advantage of it.

The central authority of the federal government on immigration policies is meant to protect ALL Americans from abuse.  And yet individual cities have stated — we are not going to comply.  I don’t hear the same kind of indignation about local governments ignoring the central authority of the U.S. Government as I have heard about county clerks who are refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Immigration laws exist to protect Americans from those who want to abuse our system.  An American living in San Francisco has the right to be protected by federal laws just the same as a same-sex couple in San Francisco has the right to be protected by the authority of the central government.

 

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