Letters: More on Sanctuary

I am a lifelong resident of Beacon and concerned about the negative publicity the city will receive with the designation of “sanctuary city.”

I wonder how many of the people who have been attending Beacon City Council meetings to express their support know what that term means. A “sanctuary city” is a municipality that harbors “criminal” immigrants and protects them from arrest and deportation by federal immigration and customs enforcement officers. The local police are directed not to cooperate with these officials. This is illegal for a city to do and as punishment the federal government can withhold federal aid.

I believe that most Americans welcome legal immigrants because they followed the rules to citizenship. The illegal immigrants have not followed procedure and as a result are subject to deportation. And many of these “illegals” have committed serious crimes and are the ones being sought by ICE for arrest and deportation.

What kind of a role model is a city setting for its residents when it defies federal law? I am proud of the progress Beacon has made in becoming the most admired city in the Hudson Valley. Let’s not destroy all of this by making one mistake. We don’t have an immigrant problem in this city, so let’s not create one.

I believe the people advocating this are the same people who can’t accept the results of the last election. Get over it. Let’s put the country ahead of politics and work together to solve all of our many problems. I have the same message for our six council members. Put the politics aside and don’t destroy Beacon’s image.

Ange Pomarico, Beacon

It’s always surprising to me to hear immigrants referred to as dangerous people whom we need protection from. These are our neighbors — people we pay to do the hard work we don’t want to do. They help us in so many ways and contribute to the fabric of our communities.

No one is suggesting that state and federal laws not be applied when warranted. All that’s trying to be said is not to have these people, many of whom are diligently working towards citizenship, live in fear of harassment or deportation for having a tail light out.

It might be useful to remember that unless you are a Native American, we are all immigrants here who, together, have made this a great country.

There’s no telling what our present immigrants’ stories are and what hardships they may be overcoming. Perhaps some compassion for their circumstances may reveal a person of integrity trying to work within our increasingly difficult path to citizenship.

Yes, those with poor intentions (not necessarily immigrants) should be accountable to our federal laws. But I can’t understand the vitriol and fear toward immigrants as a whole. Perhaps we could be kinder to those who are less fortunate.

Trisha Mulligan, Garrison

One thought on “Letters: More on Sanctuary

  1. The difficulty here is the broad definition of “criminal” that can be used for deportation. Criminal can be applied to anyone who has not gone through all of the legal channels toward immigration. There are millions of people in this category living in this country for many years who have not committed any other violation. Should they all be deported?