There is a concerning amount of misinformation circulating on the intent behind the creation of so called “sanctuary cities”. These cities are not dens of crime and debauchery, they are not providing refuge for violent criminals, and they are most certainly not evading federal immigration law. Leaving the enforcement of federal immigration laws to the federal law enforcement is about public safety and serving the interests of the people who live in our cities.
This is not an attempt to dismiss necessary discussions public officials should be having about immigration policy, but I am not running for federal office. I am a candidate for the Tempe City Council. If I’ve learned anything in my time as an elected official and advocate for aspiring citizens and immigrant communities, its that city’s stepping into federal enforcement territory puts the safety of all of us at risk.
When immigrant communities, documented and undocumented, live in fear due to a city’s involvement in the immigration responsibilities of the federal government, they are less likely to trust police, paramedical, and fire officials. They are less likely to report emergencies, seek assistance when their safety or that of a neighbor is at risk, or appear in court to testify.
No person in Tempe should ever have to fear calling for life saving aid or police protection. No person in Tempe should ever be worried that their neighbors will be too afraid call police, fire, or medical on their behalf. Our entire city is safer when we have trust between residents and police. We pay federal taxes for a reason. The federal government has resources that they may employ to enforce federal law. They are not entitled to the resource of our city at the expense of the safety and security of our friends, family, and neighbors. Our city officials need to hear that the safety of Tempe’s residents and basic human rights must come first.