Sanctuary Cities

Our law enforcement officers should have all the tools they need to do their jobs safely and efficiently. I believe all Nevada County residents, our officers, and our diverse community members, should have the opportunity to live with dignity and respect. I have spoken with candidates for Sheriff, John Foster and Shannan Moon as well as Alex Gammelgard, Chief of the Grass Valley Police Department, and all of them have reported that their jobs here in Nevada County are not impeded by the state sanctuary law.

According to an article published the Los Angeles Times, when Governor Jerry Brown signed SB54 into law, he wrote, “In enshrining these new protections, it is important to note what the bill does not do. This bill does not prevent or prohibit Immigration and Customs Enforcement or the Department of Homeland Security from doing their own work in any way.”

In many cases, California’s state sanctuary law is helping to protect communities.

In places where cities and counties have openly passed laws compelling immigration officials to come do sweeps, law enforcement has had trouble with community cooperation in finding violent offenders. Because other community members are fearful of discrimination, they often fail to report criminals. Proponents of enacting sanctuary jurisdictions include law enforcement and people who want to reduce the fear of family break-up and deportation for a number of reasons. In many cases, law enforcement officials argue that, in sanctuary jurisdictions, people are more willing or likely to report crimes. Police chiefs across the country have advocated for sanctuary cities because it reduces crime and promotes collaboration with law enforcement officials.

Additionally, child advocates believe that people will be more likely enroll their children in school if they do not have to fear deportation.  Maintaining an education base for American citizens as well as work force education is essential to maintaining a healthy economy.

Further, healthcare professionals believe that healthcare is negatively impacted by fear of deportation.  If people with contagious diseases do not seek medical attention, the risk of a serious outbreak increases.

Our local high school’s student leadership advocated for protecting undocumented students from fear of retribution and/or deportation.

An article in The Union recently noted that our county’s current sitting board would not take up the issue.  Supervisor Weston stated, “We will not be putting this on the agenda. The law is the law.”

I would like to see our community focus on a conversation about how we can support our officers who are working on issues facing our community now–homelessness, mental illness, addiction, etc.