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Judy London letter Regarding Immigration Meeting in Santa Clarita

Judy London letter Regarding Immigration Meeting in Santa Clarita

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Published by jeff_wilson
From the meeting on June 28, 2010
From the meeting on June 28, 2010

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Categories:Types, Letters
Published by: jeff_wilson on Jun 30, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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06/30/2010

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Jeff:Thanks for your e-mail, and thanks for the apology. It is a relief to see that civility still existsamong residents of the Santa Clarita community, even if non-existent at city hall meetings. Ihave received no less than three apologies from Santa Clarita residents at that meeting  nonewere from representatives of your local government.Santa Claritas city clerk invited me to the forum on Monday night and was quite upfront as tothe nature of the audience expected. I agreed to provide an historical overview of immigrationlaw rather than inject my beliefs about immigration policy. I am sure many wonder (even me)why I agreed to appear at his event. The short answer is curiosity  I have no connection toSanta Clarita but thought I might learn something by attending the meeting. I also had a rathernaïve hope that some members of the City Council would take the opportunity of my visit tolearn about immigration issues from someone on the frontlines. Finally, I thought it was goodmanners. If the city was kind enough to extend an invitation, it seemed appropriate to accept.I was not hugely surprised by the audiences behavior and inability to discuss immigrationissues in any meaningful way. I did find it startling to encounter the hate and intolerance firsthand, and I would advise others to sit in on such events as a means of comprehending theextent of the rage dominating our political culture. It is a troubling development, and adevelopment that cannot be ignored.I did not feel physically threatened by the crowd. But as a result of the meeting, I do fear forthe physical safety of anyone in the Santa Clarita area who is believed to be hispanic, or illegalor a criminal, as these words were used interchangeably by speakers at the forum, and anelected official endorsed the view that illegals have no rights. I hope that local officials arereaching out to insure safety to the thousands of Santa Clarita residents who may fit someonesidea of what an illegal looks like.What surprised and saddened me most was the response of Santa Claritas City Council. Themayor and Council members hold elected office thanks to this countrys constitution. The factthat not a single elected official took responsibility to remind people that constitution (rightly)protects everyone in this country is shameful. The Mayors recommendations, endorsed byevery council member present, poured fuel on the fire of hate and intolerance. Throughout themeeting, all but two of the towns commentators manifested a violent hatred for illegalsalthough no one seemed to know or care what that term means. All of these people have theright to state their opinions, thanks to our constitution. Yet elected officials have aresponsibility to denounce views which call for the violation of our laws and constitution, and aresponsibility to create an environment where all opinions can be heard and the rights of all

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