It's not only Ed Murray's Seattle, or San Francisco, or Chicago who are taking a position of lawlessness as a so-called "sanctuary city"---now Yakima, WA.---the place of my birth---is considering standing against the law of the land and possibly becoming a "sanctuary city."
"The reason," Councilwoman Carmen Mendez says, is that "council members took an oath at the beginning of their term to protect all the city's residents, not just a handful."
Unless Yakima has crafted their own oath of office, the state recommended local oath of office doesn't say that at all. The oath is to uphold the Constitution of the United States and local law.
To all my readers who do not live, or were not born in Yakima, WA., this is a snapshot of far Left progressivism in action.
The Yakima Herald is reporting that "Despite numerous complaints and concerns from audience members, the Yakima City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to create a resolution to ensure that all residents---regardless of immigration status---feel safe."
The Herald says, "Many in the audience were upset that the council was discussing possible 'sanctuary city' status."
An example: Rick Weiss told the council, "I don't see why you want to bring more illegals in, needy people who are already taxing our resources to the max. Sanctuary cities are illegal. It's been proven that crimes increase in sanctuary cities."
He's right. I'll come back to that in a moment.
On December 9, 2015, The Yakima Herald reported, "It took generations for Yakima to elect its first Latinos to the City Council."
The Herald said, "And as City Hall filled with observers and cameras flashed to document the historic moment, it took just moments to swear them in."
"Councilwoman Carmen Mendez," the Herald reports, said, "It's great that we get to be here and that the city gets to have fair elections."
The "fair elections" she references was the result of a year of major shifts at City Hall after a federal judge ordered new council district elections as part of the ACLU voting rights lawsuit against the city---a ruling the city was appealing at the time.
The federal judge also required the city to pay the ACLU $1.8 million in legal costs.
Dulce Gutierrez said on that historic day back in 2015, she always believed change would come, but didn't expect it to happen so soon.
About the oath they took. The State of Washington has a published, recommended oath for local governments to use for swearing in.
As the Herald reported, it's short---"only took a few moments."
This is the oath:
I, _____, do solemnly swear [or affirm] that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution and laws of the State of Washington, and all local ordinances, and that I will faithfully and impartially perform and discharge the duties of the office of _____, according to the law and the best of my ability.
It is assumed that all city council persons in every city will seek to serve the best interests of all the people who live there---not just a "handful." And even try to protect them. However, Ms. Mendez's claim that they "took an oath to protect" the people doesn't show up in the text of the oath.
What is clear is the fact that they swore or affirmed to "support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution and laws of the State of Washington, and all local ordinances."
Their oath also swore or affirmed that they would faithfully and impartially perform and discharge the duties of the office they are being sworn into "according to the law and the best of my ability."
I agree with Ms. Mendez, she and the other council members should take their oath very seriously.
Perhaps she and others should review what they actually swore or affirmed to do.
Creating a so-called "Sanctuary City" stands in direct contradiction to the Constitution and the laws of the United States and the State of Washington.
Legal immigration is legal and celebrated.
Illegal immigration is illegal and according to the law of the land, punishable.
Rick Weiss, whom I don't know, was right.
Crime rates do increase in sanctuary cities.
The far Left progressives generally use 2 arguments in their position against the law.
First, some say there is no increase in crime in sanctuary cities. They generally quote a report by the CATO Institute that claims "immigrants are less crime-prone than natives or have no effect on crime rates."
However, their conclusion is drawn from all immigrants---not illegal ones. Legal immigrants have chosen to comply with the laws of this country and become productive citizens---a value and principle upon which our country was founded.
Illegals have chosen to ignore and break the laws of this country.
Judicial Watch, a highly respected investigative organization, has done extensive research of actual crime records in so-called sanctuary cities.
The have found that crime rates do indeed go up in sanctuary cities. If you read the link above, you will see that in San Francisco, a city that became a sanctuary city in 2011, they have seen crime rates skyrocket.
From 2011 to 2015, the number of arrests for murder has increased by 55% and the number of arrests for rape has increased 370%.
TIME Magazine reports that in Chicago, also a sanctuary city, they have experienced an exponential increase in crime---in fact, they report that Chicago is responsible for half of the crime increase in the entire country.
They report that just three cities: Baltimore, Chicago, and Houston account for 31.5% of the increase in murders nationwide.
Baltimore and Chicago have formally declared they are "sanctuary cities" while Houston has adopted the policies of sanctuary cities, but have not formally declared themselves to be, in an effort to avoid loosing federal funding for refusing to cooperate with and enforce federal laws on immigration.
In September, Louisiana's Attorney General reported that crime is up in their state in the "so-called sanctuary cities."
And finally, some advocates for sanctuary cities claim a biblical moral mandate.
They often compare today's so-called sanctuary cities to those cities of refuge in the Bible.
The "sanctuary cities" in the Bible were actually cities of refuge, not sanctuaries. A city of refuge (Numbers 35:11-34) was a city---there were 6 of them---to which a person who had committed a murder could go for a trial. If the murder was accidental the person would be freed, if it was premeditated, they were not freed.
That's called justice, not fairness.
My friend Bryan Fischer with American Family Association wrote an excellent article awhile back on this subject. I recommend you read it.
He says, referring to the murder of Kate Steinle, "In San Francisco, the guilty are allowed to walk free and the innocent required to pay the ultimate penalty for this misbegotten approach to immigration. This is profoundly contrary to Scripture, which insists that the guilty be punished, and contrary to every concept of Western jurisprudence."
Byran rightly concludes: "Sanctuary cities like San Francisco are uncaring, unbiblical, un-Christian, unconstitutional, illegal, and un-American. It's time they're scrapped once and for all."
As the City of Yakima oath does not call for the council members to "protect" the citizens---rather to uphold the law and the Constitution, the Bible does not call for cities to arbitrarily claim to be "sanctuary" cities in support of lawlessness---and most likely, a personal political agenda.
Be Informed. Be Discerning. Be Vigilant. Be Free.