What, if anything, do you believe the City ought to do to support and protect undocumented residents?
I believe that the city is responsible for the health, safety, and well-being of its residents, regardless of immigration status. I also support an individual’s civil rights as defined in the U.S. Constitution—and this includes all humans on U.S. soil. I’ve read FPD’s policies they relate to ICE and I’ve researched what other cities are doing to support undocumented residents. I have limited knowledge of these issues and am continuing to learn, but from what I’ve been reading, it seems that Arizona’s SB1060 law prevents us from doing many things to protect undocumented residents.
I believe the city has a moral obligation to take care of the most vulnerable in our community. Undocumented residents face many obstacles and struggles, from a high risk of wage theft to the inability to access most government services. Everyone should be treated in a fair and just manner.
It wasn’t long ago that this land we call Flagstaff in this state known as Arizona was a territory of Mexico. For 700 generations before that this was a place of true freedom where indigenous tribes worked harmoniously with mother nature while being guided by grandfather sun. It is important that, we as a city, internalize the lessons learned by our past generations, before this land was marked by a flag pole. Diversity built this town and I am committed to make certain diverse people can live here without fear of displacement over racial bias. Being different is our strength.
People that came here as children (dreamers) should have a path to citizenship. Our police should not go on what the Supreme Court has called “fishing expeditions” trying to find undocumented residents. Our police must comply with the law, but no more than that. If we create a situation where people are afraid to talk to the police, then the police will not be able to address serious crime. Undocumented workers are hard workers and are an essential part of our society.
This issue should be handled at a local level first without federal intervention as we have seen violence brought into neighborhoods by agents not familiar with many in our community. Drug cartel activity south of our border is real but how many people are coming into the U.S. to escape a drug war our country helped to create? This issue is one requiring focus from all of us as we don’t want to invite violence but at the same time if folks are making their way here because they’re fleeing a true hell-on-earth then I think our humanity must prevail.
I was the one who brought forward a City Council Resolution concerning the DACA or Dreamer residents in our communities urging Congress to address the issue, Daily Sun September 27, 2018 “Council calls for DACA fix by Congress”. It’s discouraging that Congress has yet provided a resolution to solve the issue. We need to be compassionate of all our residents in our communities and as a Council body need to be advocating Congress to find a resolution on the issue of residents that are not citizens.
While the City of Flagstaff is legally obligated to assist government organizations, like the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, in certain situations, the City should go no further in pursuing the removal of undocumented residents. The process for citizenship has only become more challenging in recent years, and many of Flagstaff’s undocumented immigrants are victims of that process. The City should support these residents by working closely with local organizations that seek to advance the livelihood and well-being of our undocumented residents through monetary and legal means.
I believe it is part of our moral compass to support and protect undocumented residents. All members of our community should have a path to citizenship and our police should not be actively seeking to stop that journey. Noone should be afraid to be part of Flagstaff. Undocumented community members are an important part of our economy and work for unfair wages, endure descrimination, and fear family separation in the hopes to continue living in Flagstaff. I would like to see an inclusive and kind community for all.