Sanctuary city: Can we find the middle path that’s wide enough for all?

Editor,

The following is a letter I sent to the Langley City Council and Mayor:

I am writing to add my comments to the ongoing discussion before the city council regarding the designation of Langley as a sanctuary city. I agree with the spirit of providing sanctuary to people who live in our country, who are law abiding in all regards except for documentation of their immigrant status. Our contribution to community should be measured by the totality of who we are, not the paperwork we have amassed.

Designating Langley as a sanctuary city, however, may accomplish the opposite of that goal. The ethics board has thoughtfully, and compassionately, rendered an opinion that addresses the dilemma. I agree with their approach. They recommend tabling the decision to designate Langley a sanctuary city and instead issuing an executive order or resolution that “allows the city to take a progressive position on human rights without jeopardizing the city officials, employees, consultants, volunteers, vendors and citizens” of Langley.

Because Langley’s government and law enforcement employees do not inquire about immigration status and Langley has no jail, there is no practical benefit to being a sanctuary city. And the threat encoded in the recent executive actions of this most mentally unstable administration poses the risk of becoming a target with such a designation. Retaliation would harm the very people we wish to protect as well as the citizens of Langley, many of whom may fear reprisals (as raised in the Jan. 28 edition of the South Whidbey Record).

If we truly want to provide sanctuary it takes much more than the symbolic gesture of adopting a name. We need to hold a townhall meeting and discuss how to open our homes, businesses and community gathering places to those who fear deportation. Who has a room for a meal, a night, a week or more?

If we want to provide sanctuary, we must consider the views of those who disagree with us so there is no backlash. Let us find our common values of fairness, justice, compassion, so that we might find common cause. Then, are we willing to compromise about the action to take? Can we find the middle path that is wide enough to carry us all?

BARBARA SMALL

Langley

More in Letters to the Editor

Support Sno-Isle library system levy increase

Editor, Our libraries are not free. Your Sno-Isle Library card is free,… Continue reading

Need to elect Democrats to U.S. House, Senate

Editor, For graying baby boomers like me, Nov. 6 this a second… Continue reading

‘Ignorance’ on opioid lawsuit ‘disappointing’

Editor, I was surprised and disappointed at the ignorance shown by county… Continue reading

It’s not about facts, but how to change

Editor, I have read with interest the debate between Dean Enell and… Continue reading

Libraries are heart of community, deserve support

Editor, People on Whidbey Island know how valuable our libraries are to… Continue reading

Cutting parking is irresponsible of city

Editor, The City of Langley has presented two plans for a project… Continue reading

‘Glass Menagerie’ will make you laugh, cry

Editor, WICA’s latest theatrical offering is Tennessee Williams’ most famous play, “The… Continue reading

Realized I’m proud to be an ‘old guy’

Editor, I never thought being an old guy would make me proud… Continue reading

Won’t know how much we lost until library gone

Editor, We need to support our libraries by voting yes for libraries… Continue reading

Most Read