Sunday, January 29, 2017

Sanctuary Town

In 1995, President Bill Clinton gave the State of the Union address. In it he said in part, “All Americans, not only in the states most heavily affected, but in every place in this country, are rightly disturbed by the large numbers of illegal aliens entering our country. The jobs they hold might otherwise be held by citizens or legal immigrants. The public service they use impose burdens on our taxpayers. That’s why our administration has moved aggressively to secure our borders more by hiring a record number of new border guards, by deporting twice as many criminal aliens as ever before, by cracking down on illegal hiring, by barring welfare benefits to illegal aliens. In the budget I will present to you we will try to do more to speed the deportation of illegal aliens who are arrested for crimes, to better identify illegal aliens in the workplace as recommended by the commission headed by former Congresswoman Barbara Jordan. We are a nation of immigrants. But we are also a nation of laws. It is wrong and ultimately self-defeating for a nation of immigrants to permit the kind of abuse of our immigration laws we have seen in recent years, and we must do more to stop it.”

In 2001 there was more talk about building a fence to control illegal aliens from entering the United States. But indecision, if not simply inaction, took priority over action. Some of the wall would be built while the drug war against Mexican cartels kept the issue alive. At one point, Hillary Clinton sounded almost “Trumpian” on the issue. In 2005, she said: “I am adamantly against illegal immigrants. ... Clearly, we have to make some tough decisions as a country, and one of them ought to be coming up with a much better entry-and-exit system so that if we’re going to let people in for the work that otherwise would not be done, let’s have a system that keeps track of them.” Finally, in 2006, eleven years later, Congress passed and President Bush signed the bill into law sponsored by New York Representative Peter King to build the wall on the southern portion of our country. That move was supported by and voted for by Hillary Clinton as well as many other Democrats in Congress.

So what’s the point? Simply, President Trump is not saying anything new or anything that hasn’t been said before by his opponent’s side. Yet leaders around the country, state, county and yes, even in the Town of Greenburgh, are saying something else. Some, not all, have leaders who are pronouncing their disagreement or displeasure with President Trump’s message to get a handle on illegal immigration, and are openly touting their defiance towards controlling illegal immigration and the negative effects it has. Going after those who have violated our sovereignty and are committing criminal acts should be welcome by these leaders as it will assist them in bettering our neighborhoods.

At the last Greenburgh Town Board meeting, Mr Feiner and his Town Board passed a resolution announcing their blatant disregard for our federal, state and county immigration laws by stating they are committed to opposing... “...other hateful acts that target or demean persons based on their race, sex, ethnicity, religion, national origin, immigration status...” By openly recognizing that the Town Board equates immigration status as the same as racial prejudice or gender bias, they are demeaning the civil rights that people have fought for years to gain. By including “immigration status” in their resolution, aligning it to known illegal practices such as gender bias, racial bias, and more, they lessen their point because being here illegally is already a violation of the law. It’s like a thief reporting that he’s been robbed of something he stole.

The final paragraph of the Town’s resolution says, “...Town Board reaffirms its commitment to preserving and enhancing the environment to maintain and improve the quality of life for all its residents and for future generations.” This is contradictory. It’s actually just another political side-show by Mr Feiner and his Board for a bit of publicity to afford them the grandstanding to say, “Look what we did. We're not turning in any illegal aliens.” In reality, what they did is say they are openly violating the laws of this country, almost challenging the federal and state immigration services to go after them.

The position with this post is not about President Trump or Democrats versus Republicans. It’s about Mr Feiner and the illegal actions of the Town of Greenburgh. It’s no secret that Greenburgh is a sanctuary Town. Our law enforcement, fire and other Town personnel have related to ABG that directives from the “top” down instruct them to ignore the housing and overcrowding issues. This is unfortunate as our first responders are our first line of defense and can and will see when something is wrong and offer input to make corrections. Overcrowded housing, living in the shadows or in the woods hoping to not be discovered is not good for any of us. Our local economy, the safety issue for the overcrowded single family homes in our neighborhoods, increased crime in our neighborhoods and our overburdened community resources, such as water usage, waste disposal, etc., are many parts of the problem. All of this needs to be corrected. If Mr Feiner and his Town Board won’t do it, and they haven’t for 24-years during his administration, then someone else needs to do it. Only then will we get A Better Greenburgh.

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