Consider challenging, rather than ignoring, the law

I read with concern the article “Councilmember Paschall, eight cosponsors introduce sanctuary city legislation” (Jan. 13). Councilmembers Perry and Frazier were not invited to comment on the proposed legislation. This, according to Paschall, was because of their “open hostility to immigrants in our community, especially Latinos,” and “their terrible track record on civil rights issues here in Hyattsville.” Apart from the lack of decorum these comments demonstrate, they also ignore the broader issue of whether it is incumbent on the City of Hyattsville to follow federal law. Immigration laws, like all laws in the U.S., can be criticized and challenged but must also be respected and enforced. Other means of challenging federal action, short of ignoring the law, are open to the city, including challenging in court the underlying statutory authority of federal requests for information and cooperation on matters related to the legal status of city residents. I would recommend the city explore these avenues rather than putting the city in a state of noncompliance with federal law (8 U.S.C. Section 1373) by adopting the sanctuary city ordinance.

Curtis Ramsey-Lucas is a resident of Hyattsville.

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