Letter: Our safe, inclusive city need not also be a sanctuary

Mar 15, 2017

The City Council’s sanctuary discussion was a banter of personal opinion, stuck on the meaning of the terms safe, inclusive and sanctuary (“Sanctuary city issue divides council,” Nicholas Johnson, March 8).

Why this discussion, anyway? But, since it happened, here is what we and the council should know.

The safety of Mukilteo residents is outlined in the city charter and policies – and, by various laws of non-discrimination and equal protection, Mukilteo is also inclusive. It seems redundant to restate the obvious.

The term sanctuary is different.

Sanctuary is a selective rebuke of constitutional federal law and authority, specifically defined as: a jurisdiction that has a law, ordinance, policy, practice or rule that deliberately obstructs immigration enforcement, restricts interaction with federal immigration agencies or shields illegal aliens from detection (Center for Immigration Studies).

Enforcement is the issue prompting sanctuary discussion. Who are enforcement targets? They are defined by both the past and current administrations as illegal alien felons suspected, wanted or convicted of serious crimes in the U.S.

Illegal alien felons choose to locate where they will be legally ignored, free to repeat illegal activity, hide from prosecution and avoid deportation. The convenience of sanctuary up the I-5 corridor particularly benefits identity theft criminals, drug traffickers, sex traffickers, gangs and illicit commodity smugglers. Sanctuaries enable criminal behavior.

In addition, a sanctuary policy jeopardizes the release of federal dollars supporting this city. In 2016, the largest federal support sums to Mukilteo were $141,835 to the city and $11,290,929 to the school district – a hefty price to pay for uncoupling from the federal-state system adopted in the U.S. Constitution since 1787.

To the council members who feel the pressure of groupthink with neighbor sanctuary cities, think again. You took an oath to us which states: I, Bob, Christine, Richard, Randy, Steve, Ted, and Scott do solemnly swear that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution and the laws of the State of Washington, and all local ordinances … according to the law and the best of my ability.

As Mukilteo council members, you cannot impose conformity to unlawful policy. Your duty is to practice your oath, or resign.


Patricia Morrison
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