About Safe Cities

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Let’s get clear, there were no immigration laws in the United States until 1882, and few until 1924. My grandmother, who entered in 1920, was an undocumented alien. Since she married a naturalized citizen, who entered in 1905, she was covered by his naturalization papers (dated 1914, as his country of origin, Austria-Hungary was shortly to cease to exist), which he made sure she had, and her own citizenship papers where not issued until 1956 (yes, I have a copy).

As for “Safe Cities” violating federal law, let’s be clear again — the federal immigration service is not a law enforcement body like local police or even the FBI. Many of their ‘detention orders’ are not even court ordered warrants, and are in pretty clear violation of the due process clause and their own authorizing legislation stating “without unnecessary delay.” Another misnomer, there are relatively few “illegal aliens,” the vast majority (much over 60 percent) of “undocumented aliens” are in violation of over staying visas, which is NOT a criminal offense. Combine this all and you can see that using local law enforcement as an arm of INS is highly suspect, if not down right illegal itself. It is also probably in violation of the “state rights” Amendment 10 of the Constitution.

As for the debacle in Conway over Safe Cities designation, I do feel that tabling the discussion was an abuse of power. Glad to see it raised on the next town meeting. Overall, the Safe Cities movement is no more than a reaction to the misuse of general authority that New England and, especially, western Massachusetts is famous for exercising (see Shays Rebellion) and well justified.

Rich Roth