Well, I wanted to go, but I blew it.
The last Calumet City Council meeting. I think it was a matter of old guy forgetfulness.
The council chambers, my sources tell me, was pretty well filled. The reason? A vote on an ordinance making Calumet City a “fair and equal city for immigrants.”
The mayor and city council members have been pressed for a while by a group representing the interests (and fears) of many in the Hispanic community in Cal City.
In 2009, at a meeting of the city council that I did attend, the city council passed a resolution naming us a “welcoming city.” Recently, there has been a push to make us a “sanctuary city.”
Neither of these terms has a particular definition other than what a city writes in its resolution or ordinance.
The ordinance passed by the council, if I read it right, says that residents, whether citizens or not, will not be denied city services because of their immigration status. The police department is not to inquire about a person’s immigration status in their dealings with individuals.
The city values its residents regardless of their immigrant status.
Most everyone agrees that our immigration policies need an overhaul. And most everyone, even Trump, knows it would be next to impossible to remove the 11 million undocumented people in the US.
Many cities have adopted ordinances to try and allay the fears of their many undocumented residents.
The fear stirred up by the President is wrong. Predominately immigrant communities have lower crime rates that the majority population. The “wall” and more restrictive policies of the President are by and large solutions looking for a problem. And massively un-American.
And though it could have been stronger, I’m glad the council passed the ordinance it did. There is real fear in the community.
After the Presidential election, I talked with my Religious Ed class about it. I asked them, almost all Hispanic, for the first word that came to their minds regarding the election. The one word that came up more than any other was “afraid.”
That shouldn’t be. Hopefully, the city council’s ordinance will make folks a little more comfortable.
Thanks for reading.