On Illegal Immigration, More Cities Are Rolling out a Welcome Mat

Lourdes Medrano, Christian Science Monitor, November 28, 2013

The passage by conservative state lawmakers of Arizona’s controversial immigration law SB 1070 in 2010 inspired copy-cat measures in several other states that made them similarly hostile to illegal immigrants.

But city leaders in this desert town, in an example of a growing national trend more hospitable to immigrants, are pushing back against Arizona’s “papers, please” law in renewed repudiation of the measure and in a nod to immigrant integration.

Tucson, in liberal-leaning Pima County, is a longtime foe of the tough immigration law designed to push out of state those in the country illegally.

But now the city council is going a step further, voting this month to change how police implement the immigration status inquiries during law enforcement stops, a provision upheld by the US Supreme Court when it struck down most of the rest of SB 1070 in June 2012. For instance, minors may not be questioned away from an attorney or guardian, and people who report a crime can do so without fear of having their immigration status checked.

Tucson made the policy changes about a year after it declared itself an “immigrant welcoming city” and in response to more recent complaints over police treatment of immigrants in the area. The city wants to work within the confines of the state’s law, but at the same time ensure that “we’re not doing the work of border patrol,” says Regina Romero, a Tucson City Council member.

In rolling out an official welcome mat to immigrants, Tucson finds itself in good company. Cities, towns and counties–including formerly inhospitable places toward immigrants–increasingly embrace newcomers through community initiatives, policies, and ordinances.

Chicago, through its Office of New Americans, is implementing its plan to incorporate the city’s half-million foreign-born residents and their children as a crucial part of economic growth; Dayton, Ohio, put in place programs to lure immigrant workers to breathe new life into neighborhoods of empty houses; and Chattanooga, Tenn., is helping connect its small but rapidly-growing immigrant population with local agencies for seamless community integration.

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It is a trend that mirrors that of states passing laws benefiting illegal immigrants in growing rejection of a years-long history of unfriendliness. From January to June this year, 43 states and the District of Columbia enacted such laws or resolutions related to immigration, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Much of the measures seek to make life easier for immigrants or simply praise their contributions. In granting in-state tuition and driver’s licenses to people here illegally, several states were reacting to President Obama’s deferred action for childhood arrivals program. Under it, eligible young people in the country illegally are allowed to stay and work without being deported.

In early October, California passed a series of far-reaching pro-immigrant measures, including one that curbs the ability of federal authorities to deport illegal immigrants. The move came 19 years after state voters passed Proposition 187, a highly controversial ballot measure aimed at limiting services for illegal immigrants that was ruled unconstitutional.

{snip}

To some, the trend to embrace people living in the country illegally seems dangerously defiant of federal immigration laws.

While the Department of Justice sued Arizona to keep the state from enforcing its tough immigration law, the federal government has “done nothing to hold these local communities and states accountable for policies that impede immigration enforcement,” says Ira Mehlman of the Federation for American Immigration Reform.

In late October the Washington, D.C.-based organization, which pushes for reduced levels of immigration, released its own study on the proliferation of ordinances, resolutions and other pro-immigrant activity in more than 100 communities. Although some of the actions date back several years, most were adopted under the Obama administration.

The group calls such communities “sanctuary cities,” and the label casts a wide net. {snip}

“What is happening is that because there is a vacuum in Washington, you are having all of these local policies that reflect the interest of the communities that they represent,” Mr. Mehlman says.

Local governments may be reluctant to pursue enforcement measures for fear that the Department of Justice “is going to come down on them like a ton of bricks,” he adds.

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  • Spartacus

    If the government can arbitrarily decide not to enforce one law without any consequences, then they can do it again with another. Wait till they stop arresting rapists because “there’s no difference between the genders, and affirming the opposite is sexist. “

  • Truthseeker

    Tsk tsk. More naive liberals who’ll have to end up learning the hard way.

    • Whitetrashgang

      They make us learn the hard way,liberals are like blacks little or none cognitive ability.

  • JohnEngelman

    I cannot believe the electorate is voting for this nonsense.

    • bilderbuster

      No one was asked if they wanted electronic voting machines & it’s easy to see why.

    • To be fair, you admitted you voted for “this nonsense” on a national level, twice.

      But to be fair again, the “alternatives” either time wouldn’t have really changed anything in that regard.

      • JohnEngelman

        On immigration, the parties only differ by motive. Democrat politicans want more Democratic voters. Republican politicians want lower wages for Americans who already live here.

  • dubyasee

    Ultimately, the purpose of unchecked immigration into the USA is to reduce the 99% to peonage. It is amazing, the Leftists that populate the University of Arizona in Tucson are blind to the upward creep of poverty. The highest echelons of academic earners grow fewer, while adjunct (part time, non-tenured) faculty continue to expand. It is a wonder to me that Left leaning academics cannot or will not see the trend of the coming economic slavery.

    • me

      Economic slavery, poverty, environmental disasters, class and race wars, no representation in government, suppression of ideas, sexism and rape, etc. I mistakenly thought that these were the ‘issues’ that ‘liberals’ cared about the most, and were the most against? Oh, yeah…the liberal brain is too stupid to even champion their own ’causes’.

  • negrolocaust

    sad and ironically poetic, for it is Tuscon Arizona where Paul Kersey (Charles Bronson) goes on his business vacation in the great movie DEATH WISH, and is schooled on how it is a great place to live, and safe because you can carry a gun “unlike in new york city” where Kersey is from. if you want to watch DEATH WISH i think i watched it on Tubeplus for free but there are other sites to watch it free too. i would highly recommend watching death wish, if you never saw it it is the best movie ever.

    • Spartacus

      The book is even better . In the movie, the rapists are all White, but in the book they’re groids, as in reality .

  • Sick of it

    “Chicago, through its Office of New Americans, is implementing its plan
    to incorporate the city’s half-million foreign-born residents and their
    children as a crucial part of economic growth”

    Nothing says economic growth like exploding welfare rolls.

  • Andy

    “But city leaders in this desert town, in an example of a growing national trend more hospitable to immigrants…”

    Is there, in fact, such a trend?

    • Paleoconn

      Well he lists several municipalities with their own brand of welcome mat. Dayton is interesting, lots of Turks who people foolishly mistake for Whites. Also in Dayton, one suburb rejected the expansion of mass transit to their neighborhood.

  • Marc Zuckurburg

    Comprehensive immigration reform is an idea whose time has come.

    Comprehensive immigration reform will raise wages and salaries, strengthen national security, prevent terrorism, enhance our domestic crime-fighting ability, ensure that we continue to encourage the best and brightest to partake of the American dream, enhance our competitiveness and our ability to innovate, and make America more prosperous.

    Make my immigration reform comprehensive, please!

    • Bossman

      Is this the real Zuckurgburg or is this an imposter? I agree with the above statements. The USA should do what is best for the country and its citizens.

  • itdoesnotmatter

    Maybe General Ripper was right. Communist infiltration and flouridation has impurified liberals’ precious bodily fluids. making them daft.

    • me

      Gentlemen! Gentlemen! There’s no fighting in the War Room!

  • mobilebay

    I will never understand how anyone could welcome those who break into our country. This is our home. Each and everyone who sneaked across our border or overstayed their visas needs to be immediately deported. We are fools to accept the Washington cop-out: “Well, they’re here and there’s nothing we can do about it? Have the IRS look for them, or Sheriff Joe, maybe a Delta Force, or perhaps NASA who figured out how to send men to the moon. Surely, it can’t be that difficult to find a highway headed south.

    • me

      They don’t want to! More cheap labor for the crony capitalists that support the RepubliCON party, and more votes for the DemoCRAP party. Winner, winner, chicken dinner for the ‘elites’–screw the rest of us!

      • Paleoconn

        Chicken dinner courtesy of Tyson.

  • odious liberal

    Look more diverse rapes, vibrant murders and inclusive robberies.

  • there are so few on the so-called ‘alternative right’ or paleocon or whatever you want to call it who see this simple truth–that multiculturalism and mass immigration is happening because those at the top want it to happen.

    Why is this so?

    It is all about the effect of propaganda on the young mind. The elite created two political tribes, each with their own culture.

    The liberal culture allows for thought against the rich, but it does not allow for thought against the nonwhites. Why? Because the nonwhites are how the rich drive down wages and divide the populace.

    The conservative culture allows for thought against the nonwhites, but it does
    not allow for thought against the rich. Why? It is obvious.

    The rich and their tools, the govt, the corps and the media, created these two cultures.

    No matter whether conservatives or liberals are in power, the rich win.

  • John K

    I’m guessing these are the cities with high crime rates and pollution problems. “Economic growth”; I was unaware there were career positions such as professional welfare recipients, rapists, murderers, and gang members.

  • Greg Thomas

    The usual suspects pushing for open borders I see. Big business and the church.

    • Marc Zuckurburg

      We need comprehensive immigration reform.

      Comprehensive immigration reform will raise wages and salaries, strengthen national security, prevent terrorism, enhance our domestic crime-fighting ability, ensure that we continue to encourage the best and brightest to partake of the American dream, enhance our competitiveness and our ability to innovate, and make America more prosperous.

      Make my immigration reform comprehensive, please!

    • me

      Amen!

  • Paleoconn

    “What is happening is that because there is a vacuum in Washington, you are having all of these local policies that reflect the interest of the communities that they represent,” Mr. Mehlman says.

    If Mehlman is on our side, why does he say something as preposterous as this? The communities want nothing of the sort; it’s their traitorous local leaders who lay out the welcome mat.

  • Paleoconn

    Goldblum, being an unknown back then, played a White, unless his character’s name was Saul or something, and they called him by that, which I doubt. If Death Wish came out today and Ben Stiller was in it, the knowledgeable moviegoer could infer his character is Jewish, unless they gave him an Italian name or something.

  • Paleoconn

    Don’t forget the the Catholic church and the boon this represents to the bishops and cardinals as their congregations swell.