It is very difficult for a person who entered the US illegally to get a work permit or any other resident status, even if that person has worked hard and paid taxes for years. It is very difficult for an immigrant already in this country to get asylum status. It is an extremely difficult and slow process for overseas immigrants to come without family or employment. Extreme vetting is already in place and has been for years. We have a very robust system for deporting criminal aliens. And while illegal entry and fraudulent documents are crimes, they are not violent crimes or a direct threat to public safety.

Immigrants brought to this country as children (Childhood Arrivals or DACAs) have committed no crimes and often remember no other home. President Trump's cancellation of DACA protections makes their future insecure. We need comprehensive immigration reform by legislation, and I appreciate Attorney General Bob Ferguson's litigation and Rep. Dan Newhouse's recognition that the Bridge Act is a bipartisan issue. We need comprehensive immigration reform by legislation. I appreciate Attorney General Bob Ferguson's litigation and Rep. Dan Newhouse's recognition that the Bridge Act is a bipartisan issue. The Yakima City Council voted unanimously to send a letter of support.

Police Chief Rizzi is correct and should be commended for saying that policing immigration status is a federal jurisdiction and interferes with keeping our community safe. Policing of all races should be the same, based on behavior, rather than looks. Although non-citizens do not have the same legal rights that US citizens have, policing by racial profiling violates the rights of darker skinned US citizens and residents to Equal Protection. Racial profiling has also been proven to threaten public safety because it interferes with a trust relationship between the police and the community.  All residents in our community deserve safe neighborhoods and respect, not racial bias.

In the Yakima Herald-Republic online posting, we often see emotionally charged, anti-immigrant comments. OK, we get that some Yakima residents don’t like Hispanic immigrants They don’t have to, and will vote accordingly. But, when misstatements of fact promote anti-immigrant anger, we need to keep discussion of law accurate, regardless of personal preferences.

In Yakima, our Hispanic citizens, long term legal residents, undocumented immigrants, and their citizen children have intertwined relationships. Realistically, our agricultural economy is heavily dependant on immigrant labor. President Trump has made conflicting statements threatening deportation of law abiding and productive immigrants. It is unclear whether there is a really a plan to carry out widespread deportations, but those remarks create an inhumane atmosphere of fear.

 

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