Los Alamos County Council Considers Resolution On Treatment Of Immigrants And Refugees April 4

Los Alamos County Councilor Pete Sheehey
 
By MAIRE O’NEILL
Los Alamos Daily Post

Los Alamos County Council members will consider adopting a resolution regarding the just treatment of immigrants and refugees in the United States when it meets at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 4 at the Municipal Building.

Councilor Pete Sheehy was instrumental in having the resolution prepared. He read a letter to his fellow councilors at a February work session asking them to consider discussing the issue with County residents and consider passing a resolution on the issue.

 The letter stated that courts would decide whether President Donald Trump’s Jan. 27 executive order on immigration violated anyone’s rights to due process or equal protection under the Constitution and the law.

“Certainly, we as a nation are entitled to defend ourselves, and to deny entry to anyone who plans to commit criminal or terrorist acts. However, we are a nation of immigrants and refugees. It is our moral obligation to treat all such people as we would be treated, with justice and compassion”, Sheehy’s letter read. “When we take actions that are seen as unjust or inconsiderate, it diminishes us and plays into the hands of our enemies. The intent of this order – to review and improve our vetting process for immigrants and refugees – is something that I fully support, and that needs to be done promptly.”

He went on to say that this can be done without suspending the processing of thousands of immigrants and refugees whose lives could be improved (in some cases saved) by coming to this country and that they “can make many contributions to our common welfare”. He urged President Trump to revise his executive order to reflect American values; “that we treat all people, including immigrants and refugees, with respect, justice and compassion”.

Sheehy said Monday he believes that when there is a violation of due process or equal protection under the Constitution, we all need to speak up. He said reaction to his letter to the council had been “mixed” but that more people were in favor of a resolution than against.

Los Alamos County Council Chair Daivid Izraelevitz

Council Chair David Izraelevitz said Monday evening that it is great that Sheehy has initiated the resolution, which he said is timely. He said as an immigrant himself, he appreciates Sheehy’s efforts to highlight the role of immigrants in Los Alamos and in the United States.

The proposed resolution reads as follows:

“WHEREAS, in times of war and terrorism, citizens of affected nations will desire to take refuge in the order and safety of our country, the United States of America; and

“WHEREAS, we are entitled as a nation to defend ourselves, and to deny entry to anyone who plans to commit criminal or terrorist acts; and

“WHEREAS, the vetting process for potential immigrants and refugees is under continual review and should continue to be made as effective as possible; and

“WHEREAS, we are a nation of immigrants and refugees. Immigrants and refugees, from the beginning of this country, have made many contributions to our common welfare; and 

“WHEREAS, the Manhattan Project, for which the community of Los Alamos was formed, would not have been successful in ending World War II without the contributions of refugees and immigrants from war-torn countries; and  

“WHEREAS, when our nation takes actions that are seen as unjust in the treatment of refugees and immigrants, our international standing is diminished, and our enemies are strengthened; and

“WHEREAS, it is our moral obligation to treat all refugees and immigrants as we would be treated, with justice and compassion; and

“WHEREAS, the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution describe the rights of all persons to due process and equal protection under the law.

“NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Council of the Incorporated County of Los Alamos that we support and observe the fundamental American value that all people, including immigrants and refugees, should be treated with respect, justice and compassion.”

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