Thursday, April 7, 2016

An Immigrant's Response to Sanctuary City

Yolanda Puyana and Gov. McAuliffe.
Yolanda Rodriguez Puyana of Roanoke is an Hispanic consultant and representative and an equal rights for immigrants advocate, who is strongly behind the Sanctuary City proposal circulating around Roanoke City Council candidates.

She is concerned at the lack of understanding of the basic problem and responded to a piece I did on this blog on candidate Trish White-Boyd a little earlier today. According to her Facebook profile, she attended Universidads Autónoma de Chihuahua-HUACH. She is a medical doctor with credentials from Instituto Nacional del Seguro Social, Facultad de Medicina UACH and Universidad Autónoma de Chihuahua. Her primary position, however, is as a leader in the Hispanic community.

Here is her response:

"Potholes, neighborhoods, jobs, education, transportation, etc, they're all a priority for Roanoke. And as a Roanoker, I would vote for candidates who will move Roanoke forward.

"The question about sanctuary cities was never intended to be a 'gotcha question. It came from Latino community leaders who deal with people who are constantly afraid of the police: intimidated, scared and even threatened by some police officers (not all of them). It [has been] happening for years. 

"I've been a victim of abuse and racial discrimination [and]  I've been legally advised to sue Roanoke City and the police department. I choose not to do it. I could have taken legal action because I'm an American citizen, something the majority of Hispanic immigrants can't do. They never complain about the abuse of authority of some law enforcement officers because they're completely at the [officers'] mercy.

"That's the reason we Coalicion Latina de Roanoke submitted the question. As leaders we are suppossed to work for our communities and be their voice. The Latino commuity is not invisible, like many want to think. And as we exist and live in this city, we pay taxes and we contribute every day to our city, we have all the right to make questions like any other citizens."

This is suddenly an important issue to every Roanoker, as it should be and I would strongly suggest that city council members and prospective members get with the program and tell us what you believe is the solution here. Remember, this is not about failing to support the federal government; it is about supporting Roanoke's citizens.

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