This just in from Mayor Paul Soglin 02-01-17 at 2:30 p.m.:
There is a proposal now, circulating among city council members to reaffirm and update our sanctuary city status and align it with present city administrative policies and procedures. I support that effort. However, I am deeply troubled and concerned by the introduction of one element, which declares the city council offices a “safe space.”
I see little value and a great deal of risk in such an action. First, the practicality of the city council offices becoming a sanctuary is minimal. Secondly, the location is less than ideal. Lastly, the facilities are impractical.
The consequences of declaring the offices a “safe space” can be disastrous. In the last session of the legislature, consideration was given to suspending state funding to sanctuary cities. Lets us understand that we are far more vulnerable from a state government which has far more power to remove our funding than the federal government. Let us understand that we do not have the supportive network of other cities if action is taken against us. Let us understand that will not have a sympathetic judiciary.
We have made the point that we are a sanctuary city. We are committed to justice. The law is on our side. Let us avoid a futile gesture that may make us feel good, but that does not add to the sanctity of our position and only creates enormous risk.
Engraved over the entrance to the Policy Werkes employees-only entrance is this wise aphorism: “It’s never too soon to over-react.”
Like the Godfather’s wife, Chuck Schumer is crying in the upstairs bedroom. Starbucks is hiring! (Illegals, only. Military service veterans, no lattes for you.) The Constitution has been shredded, says Comrade Nichols.
Trump has enacted a Muslim ban. No, it’s a travel ban. Wait, it’s a breath mint.
Into the yawning gap of sober reflection jumps our Madison Common Council. It’s an emergency requiring suspension of the rules. “We need to take action ASAP,” Ald. Shiva Bidar-Sielaff assures. No vetting in the War Room.
Make haste! There’s no time to waste! Madison needs an ordinance! That will fix ‘em! Alders will vote February 7 on new immigration policies. Yes, Madison has its own immigration policy, being a sovereign entity much like the Most Serene Republic of San Marino but without the pretty postage stamps. Or perhaps the Knights of Malta, more a state of mind but without the uniforms.
Borders? We don’t need no stinkin’ borders.
Ald. Shiva e-mailed her fellow wizards delivered Monday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. The abbreviated but verbatim version of her e-mail is enhanced with the Policy Werkes’ analyses in red.
“In lay terms, this is what the resolution does:”
• Condemns the following Executive orders as they are contrary to the values of openness and inclusion of our city: Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States; Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements; protecting the nation from foreign terrorist entry into the United States. (And you thought Nullification of federal law was a casualty of the Civil War.)
• Designates the Council offices as a safe space, where all residents may enter and will be safe and protected. (Petty thieves and strong-arm thugs take note, it’s Room 417 in the City-County Bldg.)
• City of Madison office, department, employee, agency or agent shall not condition the provision of City services on the citizenship or immigration status of any individual. …(Your tax dollars at work.)
• If any city employee is contacted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for any information, said employee is to direct all communication between the City of Madison and ICE to the Office of the City Attorney. … (The Feds want to know about those suspicious-acting guys hanging around the Municipal Building. Time to lawyer up!)
I have lifted from his Facebook page the thoughts of Rick Esenberg, lead attorney for the Wisconsin Institute on Law and Liberty. He is also an adjunct law prof at Marquette University. Mr. Esenberg:
On this executive order, my position is that it is flawed on policy grounds in a number of ways – it seems overly broad – and was poorly implemented. But, having tried to assess the various legal arguments, it strikes me the better argument is that it is not unconstitutional and not illegal — as least as it pertains to denying persons entry into the United States.
Nor does it seem wildly at odds with the way that past Presidents have limited entry into the country in the face of perceived security risks. But there seems to be an all-or-nothing feeling out there. If you aren’t wondering when Kristalnacht will begin or aren’t quoting Emma Lazurus, you just don’t get it. …
It’s not a “Muslim ban” but it’s poorly crafted and not properly narrowed. Here’s another thing. It is hardly some assault on Lady Liberty or the notion of immigration as Nicholas Kristof suggested in a poorly reasoned piece in the New York Times.
Temporarily blocking or engaging in extreme vetting from certain countries is not new. Saying that refugee status is limited to people who suffer certain forms of persecution and not just everyone who has reason to flee is not new.
This order has problems but much of the reaction to it seems overwrought. Obama let very few Syrian refugees into the country, temporarily blocked entrance from Iraq, pulled the plug on Cuban refugees, ignored Christian refugees from Syria, etc., for a variety of reasons both good and bad. This order, whatever its infirmities, doesn’t change the “country.”