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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Is San Francisco Not a 'Rule of Law' City?

Posted By on Wed, May 19, 2010 at 12:30 PM

Future illegal aliens dreaming of living the good life in Costa Mesa, Calif. are in for a rude surprise. Yesterday, in a symbolic slap at the notion of "sanctuary cities," the Orange County suburb passed a resolution declaring itself a "Rule of Law" city.

"I have a lot of concerns with cities calling themselves sanctuary

cities," Costa Mesa Mayor Allan Mansoor said before the vote. "It's important we state that we

do not support illegal immigration." Apparently San Francisco -- and any other berg not erecting a symbolic fence around itself -- is not a "Rule of Law" city.

Other than wasting everyone's time and keeping political officials from making real decisions and addressing real issues, symbolic politics are just great. Here in San Francisco, it's a veritable cottage industry. But the Costa Mesa sort of symbolism gets people hurt -- or worse.

That's because -- whether through liberal idiocy or conservative

vindictiveness -- the debate about "sanctuary cities" has stopped

dealing with the people affected and become a red-meat partisan issue.

No Republican politician can dare explain the troubling nuances or

general mean-spiritedness of Arizona's controversial new immigration

law. You're either for it or you're in favor of ceding the southwest to

Mexico. Period.

And that's a tragedy -- because you don't have to be a bleeding-heart to support sanctuary city policies. In fact 18,000-odd law-enforcement agencies nationwide refused to sign on to federal policies that would obliterate the notion of sanctuary cities. That's because -- despite the idiotic excesses of places like San Francisco -- sanctuary city policies aren't Democratic or Republican but common sense. Cops involved in community policing should not pry into people's immigration status, or immigrants will be wary of coming forward to report crimes committed against them -- or crimes they witness.

Failure to comprehend this demonstrates crass stupidity, ignorance, or a calculated political judgment to value the knee-jerk support of anti-immigration forces over the safety of vulnerable immigrants. Cities need not lay down the red carpet for illegals -- but treating them as sub-humans is downright un-American.

Those who actually think it would be a good idea for the same police who handle burglary, rape, and murder calls to act as front-line immigration officers would do well to consider what would happen if they or a loved one were victimized -- and the only eyewitnesses were illegal immigrants. You may be living in a "Rule of Law" city. But if no one wants to talk to law-enforcement, what good is it? 

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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