The South Whidbey community is unique in the amount of love and compassion it extends to all people. The recent proposal that we offer Langley as a “sanctuary city” befits these values.
But think about this: Don’t we Americans want defined borders and immigration laws allowing us to select whom and how many are allowed into the country? Many immigrants apply for legal status, complete their preliminary paperwork and patiently wait their turn. It does seem unfair and unwise to encourage undocumented immigrants to come to our country in violation of established law, yet provide blanket amnesty.
Trump’s proposal to “round them up” is abhorrent. Before we rush into a regrettable decision, however, let those South Whidbeyites in favor of a “sanctuary city” ask:
(1) Will South Whidbey/Langley be prepared to take an uncertain — and probably uncontrollable — number of undocumented immigrants, provide financial assistance, jobs, and mentors to help them get established?
(2) Do we have enough resources (water, housing, affordable healthcare, schools) to provide a decent life for people who often come with nothing?
(3) If criminal activity surges, will our law enforcement officers be able to deal with it? (Not that immigrants are inveterate criminals or rapists, but poverty predictably brings social ills.)
(4) Will federal funding of assistance programs be available if needed? Remember: Trump has proposed sanctions on sanctuary cities, and Congress is likely to pass such sanctions.
Local volunteering activities have impressed me that a growing number of our established neighbors need lots and lots of our help, yet it never seems to be quite enough — particularly for our underserviced military veterans!
It would be wise for us to get our own house in order before inviting guests in.