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UPDATE: RESOLUTION WAS APPROVED 4-0 WITH JOHN PHILLIPS ABSENT BUT HAVING EXPRESSED HIS SUPPORT

 

In the wake of the presidential effort to discourage Muslim immigration, the following resolution will be considered by the Monterey County Board of Supervisors at 3:15 p.m. Tuesday at the county building on Alisal in Salinas.

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Whereas, on January 27, 2017, President Trump issued an Executive Order limiting the ability of people to enter the United States based on national origin and religion;

Whereas, legal challenges and public protests have forced the Trump Administration to modify the Executive Order as to immigrants holding visas and green cards that have been legitimately issued for those now visiting, studying, and working in the United States;

Whereas, this Executive Order separates family members from one another and turns back refugees who had been admitted to the United States after years of process; preventing legal residents from re-entering the United States, in disregard of financial commitments such as leases on residences, job commitments, tuitions paid at United States institutions of higher learning;

Whereas, this Executive Order effectively institutes a ban on travel for non- citizens who are legally residing in the United States;

Whereas, there is no evidence to support the notion that this Executive Order will reduce the threat of terrorism and, in fact, may increase such threats to the United States; and

Whereas, the Administration’s demonstrated willingness to disregard legally-issued visas poses a threat to Monterey County’s economy which employs residents who are legally living in the United States, and to the County’s institutions of higher learning.

Now, therefore be it resolved, that the Board of Supervisors of Monterey County declares as follows:

1. This Executive Order is discriminatory. It unfairly targets a large group of immigrants and non-immigrants on the basis of their countries of origin, all of which are nations with a majority Muslim population. This is a major step towards implementing the stringent racial and religious profiling threatened by this Administration. The United States is a democratic nation, and ethnic and religious profiling are in stark contrast to the values and principles we hold.

2. This Executive Order is detrimental to the interests of Monterey County. Without a guarantee that visas will be honored, it will be more difficult for Monterey County businesses and institutions of higher learning to employ and enroll individuals from other countries;

3. This Executive Order imposes undue burden on members of our community. The people whose status in the United States could be reconsidered by this Executive Order are our fellow students, friends, colleagues, and members of our communities. The implementation of this Executive Order will tear families apart by restricting entry for family members who live outside of the US and limiting the ability to travel for those who reside and work in the US. These restrictions would be applied to nearly all individuals from certain countries, regardless of their immigration status or any other circumstances. This measure is disruptive to the lives of these immigrants, their families, and the communities of which they form an integral part. It is inhumane, ineffective, and un-American.

4. This Executive Order undermines the values of America. These bans, as proposed, have consequences that reach beyond the scope of national security. The unethical and discriminatory treatment of law-abiding, hard- working, and well-integrated immigrants fundamentally contravenes the founding principles of the United States.

We strongly denounce this Executive Order and urge our Congressional leaders to take all possible actions to prevent such destructive policies from being enacted.

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160_f_1249591_0wtu4etym9fpuhafuhrwgl9fu8eoyd-1Ran into a guy I know the other day. He’s one of the hardest-working persons I know. He works two jobs that keep him running six, maybe, seven days a week. He’s a leader of his Neighborhood Watch. He runs a men’s Bible study group at church.

He mentioned the next day was his birthday, and for the first time in many years he was taking a day off to spend with his family. He said he needed to take a day to try to relax, to relieve some of the pressure that’s building up inside.

He and his wife have three children. The oldest is a boy, 10 going on 11. He said his son hasn’t been able to sleep the past couple weeks. The boy is worried about what will happen next. He said he comes home from one of his jobs, usually after midnight, and finds his son with the light on in his room and tears in his eyes.

He said he has talked with people at his son’s elementary school. They told him there are many kids feeling the same way, so many that they might bring in professionals to talk with the anxious children.

“What do you think is going to happen?” he asked me.  It was anything but an idle question.

In his mid-40s, he has lived in the Salinas Valley since he was a teenager. He married here about a decade later. His three children are U.S. citizens. His wife, too, has the legal right to be here. He doesn’t.

That’s why his son is so worried. He is afraid his father will be taken away from him. Incoming president Donald Trump has made it clear that large-scale deportations of undocumented immigrants will be a key to his presidency.

But Trump, as is his style, hasn’t been specific. He called Mexicans rapists and criminals when he started his White House campaign, and almost grudgingly allowed that some may be good people.

Trump has spoken glowingly of the barbaric “Operation Wetback” deportations in the 1950, but most recently has talked about focusing on the expulsion of 2 million to 3 million undocumented immigrants with criminal records.

Trump doesn’t differentiate among felonies, misdemeanors or parking tickets, but repeatedly told rally crowds that vicious immigrants are preying every night on the streets of the nation to commit horrible violence. No matter that others put the number of undocumented immigrants with criminal records at 1 million. This is Trump world, where feelings, not facts rule.

“Whatever happens isn’t going to happen right away,” I told him. “Have you ever been arrested?”

No, not even a parking ticket, he said. I told him that’s good. Of course, I don’t know if it’s good at all.

I struggled to answer his question, to try to calm him a little. But what the hell do I know about what happens next? I fell silent.

Trump’s electoral victory seems to have unleashed fresh waves of bigotry and ignorance upon the land. Hate crimes are up, swastikas are scrawled on more walls. Nazis wearing nice new clothes met over the weekend in Washington, D.C., to soak up all the old lies about white supremacy and publicly celebrate the new president.

The worried man broke the silence, saying there was a community meeting coming up that he planned to attend. Yes, I said, there already have been several in Salinas. People are getting organized, they are getting unified. Just the other day, I went on, about 1,000 students at Alisal High School over in Salinas marched in a show of unity and peaceful resistance.

We’d reached the point where we had nothing more to say on the subject. I was tired of my attempts to lift his spirits. I thought I sounded like some idiot in Germany, who told his neighbors that those men with the funny salute are fools and surely won’t last.

I asked about his birthday plans. His wife would cook the kids’ favorite tacos with green sauce. They’d go to church in the morning. With a smile, he added he’d already gotten a birthday card from his son, the one so worried that some day coming soon his father will be taken away.

The kid probably didn’t want to wait another day without giving him the card and its message of love. It’s never too early to do that, especially these days.

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