Letter to the Editor: Declare Montclair A Sanctuary City


In response to the President Elect’s reported intention to engage in mass deportation of undocumented individuals in the United States, many schools and cities are coming out to declare themselves sanctuaries. Declaring itself as a Sanctuary City implies that the town leadership is in agreement that local funds will not be used to facilitate ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) removal and deportation of residents.

We appreciate and value the diversity of our community and our country. We stand with our documented and undocumented immigrant neighbors to say that we do not want our local tax dollars to be spent supporting ICE activities.

We want the leadership of Montclair to publicly declare that Montclair is a Sanctuary City.

You can vote to declare Montclair a Sanctuary City on PLANETCIVIC, a virtual town hall where Montclair citizens can go to have their voices heard on local issues. PLANETCIVIC will present Montclair’s Top 5 Proposals at the Town Council meeting on Jan 24.

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  1. Why would we want to support/harbor anyone who has done something ILLEGAL and is therefore a criminal? The President Elect has recently said that he would only seek deportation for those ILLEGAL immigrants who are guilty of a crime, who should be deported! Most of us had ancestors who came into this country the right way, legally. Why provide sanctuary for those that break the law and therefor disrespect our roots? Neither Trump nor anyone else are against LEGAL immigrants.
    In addition, do we not receive any money from the Federal gov’t? If we do, and I have no idea, we would be in danger of losing those funds, and as we all know, Montclair is in no position to lose revenue.

  2. Even if you don’t have the capacity to feel sympathy for those in our community facing deportation, there are many good reasons for Montclair to become a sanctuary city.

    State and local governments should not be in the business of deportation. Immigration is the job of the Federal Government. And we are in no position to lose revenue, which is why we shouldn’t spend a dime doing the federal government’s job for them.

    There are liabilities involved when municipal governments enforce federal law. For example, ICE detainer requests are not legally binding, which puts local governments at risk for being sued by those they’ve detained while cooperating with ICE. Many sheriff’s departments and police departments also see having any of their operations dictated by ICE to be federal overreach.

    There is also risk to local police officers themselves when they are expected to enforce immigration law. It causes immigrant communities to treat them with distrust and suspicion, leads to a decrease in the reporting of crimes, and makes police/civilian interactions more dangerous.

    And just out of curiosity, can anyone tell me how much federal money Montclair receives?

  3. All in for 2015, Montclair received just north of $115MM. This was an increase of about 17% over 2014. I’m not sure what 2016 will be, but we already have $97MM in to date thru 11/30.

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