I am not a citizen of the United States of San Francisco.
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee is not commander in chief of the military that secures our nation’s freedoms.
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors do not have the authority to issue me a passport that is recognized by other countries.
Yet the self-proclaimed nation-city believes it has authority in matters constitutional law clearly invests in the federal government.
You remember the federal government? They’re the ones that built the Presidio and put bases at Treasure Island to protect San Francisco and the West Coast from foreign invaders. They also established Angel Island to process those who came to America through legal channels to pursue a better life.
Say what you want about Donald Trump — or any other president that has resided at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue when they were in office — but he is the president.
Trump is doing exactly what President Obama did by using executive orders to enforce — or not enforce depending on how you call it — federal law.
The concept of a city being able to proclaim itself as a sanctuary city to harbor aliens that have no legal right to be in the country in the first place is amusing at best.
But to be clear there are a lot of valid points made on why we should not engage in mass deportation of illegals. It is also obvious a balanced, middle-of-the-road approach opening a clear and well-defined path to citizenship or legal visas for those meeting basic criteria solves much of the problem. This would require a bloated bureaucracy with byzantine hoops upon byzantine hoops to jump through to streamline the process using 21st century sensibilities. The cases of illegal immigrants — who pose no criminal threats and have been contributing to the American society — that have been waiting 10 plus years for approval while applications for green cards are stuck in the tar pits that constitute the bowels of federal bureaucracy are unfortunately not few and far between.
Trump — in case anyone bothered to listen or read was is being pursued before they started howling — simply is withholding federal funds from jurisdictions that refuse to comply with federal immigration laws. He’s not sending in the troops to round illegals up. What is being targeted are illegals who are physically arrested on suspicion of a crime. Given this is California we are talking felonies.
The move against sanctuary cities is focused on violent crimes and such.
So who is being unreasonable? The federal government for partially enforcing the law and declining to provide federal funds to those jurisdictions that refuse to follow the law of the federal government they take money from or the jurisdictions that have made it absolutely clear they won’t follow federal immigration law but still expect federal funds?
The indignant reaction is exactly why we don’t have a workable solution for immigration — illegal and otherwise — in place. If you look from afar, one side is essentially screaming they refuse to adhere to any federal authority when it comes to immigration while the other is saying, OK, if you don’t comply we won’t force you to but don’t expect us to keep sending you money.
Immigration is — and always will — play a vital role in our nation’s economic health as well in weaving its cultural fabric.
But just like a smoothie you are blending things have to be done in a measured and controlled fashion or you are going to end up with a mess splattered all over the ceiling and walls destroying the smoothie. That might be a strange analogy but this nation’s strength has come from the blending of people from around the globe who have added to what is being created in America without losing their flavor and without overpowering the other flavors.
You wouldn’t mix a rotten banana with mold growing on it — think a rapist or a violent offender — that someone tried to sneak in nor would you allow someone to just dump apple after apple after apple into the mixture that isn’t part of the recipe and turn the smoothie blending process into complete chaos.
People aren’t smoothies. But just like smoothies to control how things develop you have to have laws — or a recipe if you will — that provides standards for a civilized society to stay on even keel and not harm what is already in the blender.
We need immigration reform. We need to establish a pathway for citizenship or legal visa status for most of those that are here illegally, are contributing, and aren’t committing felonies or serious crime beyond their original sin of breaking this country’s legitimate immigration laws.
One can’t have your smoothie and eat it too.
This column is the opinion of executive editor, Dennis Wyatt, and does not necessarily represent the opinion of The Bulletin or Morris Newspaper Corp. of CA. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 209.249.3519.