Editor’s note: The opinions here are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect those of this publication.
To the Editor:
It’s painful to see our own Morris County sheriff pointing to an incident when an immigrant committed a crime and using that to slander by implication all undocumented immigrants and to call sanctuary cities “bad business.” If you have been in law enforcement, you have seen a lot more crime committed by US citizens.
Criminals are the problem, not immigrants or sanctuary cities, and most of the criminals are US citizens. We have more people in prison than any country in the world. The crime rate among immigrants is about half the crime rate for US citizens.
As Sheriff Gannon is aware, sanctuary cities are not saying that they will tolerate serious criminals.
From news coverage of the tea party meeting:
“In response to a question from Morristown Mayor Tim Dougherty, Sheriff Gannon conceded that he knew of no towns in the county or statewide that have refused to cooperate with any federal request to detain immigrants suspected of serious crimes.”
Why would our Sheriff Gannon choose to scapegoat immigrants other than for political reasons, to show that he is a tough sheriff, at the expense of ruining the lives of hard working recent immigrants?
I would rather propose an attitude of respect and support for people who are here, doing their best, working hard under difficult circumstances and contributing to society.
Sheriff Gannon does not appear to be a native American, rather a person whose ancestors, like most of our families, just got on a boat and came here as unvetted, basically undocumented immigrants, for economic reasons and or as refugees.
For example, Irish immigrants were not always welcomed at the time either, like all other groups who came here and have built this country.
For me personally, it’s painful to see recent immigrants and refugees scapegoated, as if attacking and getting rid of law-abiding hard-working people will solve all of our problems.
These are not the people who have outsourced or automated our jobs or caused the recent subprime mortgage financial collapse. Economic analysis shows that these immigrants benefit our economy.
The argument that “they” are somehow “bad” because they are undocumented and therefore “illegal” is truly offensive in a nation that has thrived as a nation of immigrants.
Morally, no human being should be deemed illegal. This wasn’t always the case. The Holocaust was entirely legal. Six million Jews and about five million other innocent men women and children were brutally murdered and almost no one went to prison or was charged with a crime. The 11 million murdered civilians were deemed “illegal.”
We have not had a rational, effective immigration policy. The history of our immigration policy is a history of a policy based on discrimination. This great country has benefited all of us. We or our families all came here as refugees or as economic migrants. I would hope that, in time of need, we will want to provide a safe harbor to others.
March 31, 2017