There has been a lot of talk about Seattle, among other US cities, declaring itself a “sanctuary city.”
There is a fine line that you have to walk to be fair to everyone. I don’t want to be in a position where illegal immigrants are treated differently from people who are here legally. Seattle already has a defacto more lenient set of laws for homeless, for instance.
But I’ll tack away from immigrants for a moment to talk about a similar underclass: prostitutes. If a prostitute, who in most of the country is operating illegally (regardless of your views on the subject) gets into an altercation with a john, they seldom go to the police out of fear. This empowers their clients to abuse them. I look at that as a problem.
Similarly, if an illegal immigrant has disputes, they seldom go to the police out of fear that they’ll get sent back. There are two wrongs here: abuse of a human who isn’t legally here, and the immigrant being illegally here. Two wrongs don’t make a right.
In both cases, victimizing another person just because you know you can’t be punished for it is simple abhorrent in my mind.
My views on this are mixed, but I think I’m forced to err on siding with punishing the person who abuses their fellow man over the individual who is wrong for being in the wrong place. If an undocumented person goes to the police, I think the crime they are reporting should be treated separately from the fact they are here. That said, if they themselves are committing a crime then it’s fair game to deport them.
How this will play out under President Trump is still up in the air. He said that he would cut off federal funds to sanctuary cities. Will this pass legal muster is a subject of debate.