JACK MAYNE EDITORIAL: ‘Sanctuary City’ label will change absolutely nothing

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Commentary by Senior Writer Jack Mayne

(click “Play” button to hear audio version:)

The proposal to make Burien a so-called ‘sanctuary city’ will change absolutely nothing in the way undocumented aliens are already treated.

For two decades, the King County Sheriff’s department has had rules that it would not enforce federal immigration laws. The sheriff’s department is contracted to be the local Burien Police Department.

Local law enforcement enforces local laws. Federal agencies enforce federal laws that include all immigration statutes – they do not enforce state laws or local ordinances.

Over the years, Burien Police and the King County sheriff’s officers have backed up federal officers when they have the appropriate federal warrants declaring a person may be in violation of federal immigration laws or criminal statutes.

The B-Town Blog has posted a voluntary poll on the matter and, as of Friday noon, 602 people voted in the poll, and 57 percent, or 341 people, said there should not be a sanctuary law in the city. But 41 percent, or 244 people, voted there should be such a city ordinance. The poll is constructed in a way that a person can vote only once from each IP address.

So, why did Councilmembers Lauren Berkowitz, Nancy Tosta and Austin Bell propose that a city ordinance be created to do what is already being one by its city police and federal agencies? Why was over two hours taken up to discuss a measure that’s only significance is a ‘feel good’ measure of support of a group of people?

Many residents say the council should stop pushing things that have little effect to the city’s residents. Many of our readers think the Council should spend its time working on the many issues facing the city, not trying to make grandiose statement that have little effect other than to make some citizens feel better.

But many others feel such a sanctuary ordinance will make the aliens who have come here to escape problems of their birth countries feel more welcome.

We believe that doing something that accomplishes nothing is a waste of time and effort. Burien Councilmembers have many more important matters – those that do directly affect its citizens. We can be accepting and understanding of new comers without passing ordinances that accomplish nothing beyond expressing goodwill to all people.

Also, if you haven’t already, please take our Poll below, or leave a Comment:

Should the City of Burien declare itself as a 'sanctuary city'?

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6 Responses to “JACK MAYNE EDITORIAL: ‘Sanctuary City’ label will change absolutely nothing”
  1. Lee Moyer says:

    Sorry to see that you think “expressing good will toward all people” is a waste of time. If expressing an opinion is not actually accomplishing anything (in this case, endorsing an existing policy) I presume you oppose other resolutions the council has passes on actions by the federal government, King Co airport, King County Library System, Highline School District, the local fire district, etc.
    Judging by the poll participation, it sure looks like this is a topic of interest for many Burien residents.
    Whether the council supports the idea or not, it is certainly an issue with which they should be familiar.

  2. Question Authority says:

    Lauren Bezerkoitz leans so far left she can’t even reach the doorknob to make it to a Council meeting. Touchy feely discussions are getting this city nowhere, especially when a large percentage of those
    needing Sanctuary can’t even vote for the council, so why the expend the effort.

  3. Elizabeth says:

    We are Americans who are citizens living in Burien Washington NO NO we do not want to be a sanctuary City. We voted for our politicans to work for us not — foreigners especially law breaking illegals. We are not politicans personal slaves working hard to pay taxes for illegals who do not respect our laws or people .
    If our Politicians are Pro, American they will not make a sanctuary city. If our politicans are Anti-American they should be removed from office. 280 billion spent on illegals . This is disgusting We have homeless who heed help, elderly,, we need school shop for our students , computers in schools, school meals for al children who need to be fed . On and On . Most illegals came for our welfare payments. Which should never been offered . They can go home and work. Washington was known in Mexico as a high welfare giver to illegals . Politicians that made this happen should all face prison time.

    • Sophia says:

      Elizabeth, please define what you mean by “pro-American”. There are no “official” Americans other than the indigenous tribal members displaced by subsequent waves of immigrants. American policy and economy are founded nearly 100% by immigrants and have depended on immigration for expansion. Your post implies that there was some milestone of stabilization, after which time any immigrants and those who welcome them became “anti-American”.
      I can trace my genealogy back to the first settlers of the Mohawk Valley. They later became the blue-blood clan of upstate New York — but they began as immigrants. I am completely certain your ancestors did as well. those who are truly “pro-American” support the self-evident truth that all humans are created equal, and do not subscribe to economically-driven immigration quotas imposed out of jealousy and insecurity.

      • Question Authority says:

        There wasn’t immigration law back in ancient times, now there is and not following it is a conscience decision. Now and then are not something that remotely represents the current sad state of affairs that the unchecked illegal immigration problem has become.

  4. Sophia says:

    It is certainly a continual problem that the Burien City Council expends much attention to “frosting” rather than the cake it decorates. No matter how pretty a cake may look, if it isn’t well made it will not stand up to a taste test. Embracing language such as “Sanctuary City” is a matter of media image and “looking good”, since it does not have any practical impact.
    That being said, as long as the question is already being polled, it may indeed offer some sense of belonging to non-citizens. That is a positive effect, certainly, since our minority populations are not always included in Burien municipal agendas.
    Would that the City Council paid equal attention to urgent matters that would expand the “feel-good” effect to all Burien residents.

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