Wednesday, April 6, 2016

John Garland Explains Sanctuary City Stance

John Garland: Immigration department "is broken."
My old friend John Garland, who is running for Roanoke City Council as an Independent, sat for coffee with me a while ago and explained his position--or non-position--on the Sanctuary City flap that was raised yesterday by Republican U.S. House Representative Bob Goodlatte opf Roanoke.

In a nutshell, City Council candidates were asked at a forum to give a "yes" or "no" response to whether they favored Sanctuary City status, something few of them knew anything about and a complex issue at the very least. All who were present said they favored it, but then Michelle Dykstra, whom I had endorsed, came back later with a reversal. I will sit down with her later today to talk about it, but I have since I withdrawn my endorsement of her over the disagreement.

In any case, John has said all along that he does not have a full understanding of the status and that has not changed, even though he has spent a lot of time studying it. Goodlatte said, in effect, that Sanctuary Cities were overrun with criminal rogue immigrants who were in the country illegally. He gave an example of an immigrant who was let go from a detention center and committed a crime. One example. There are more than 11 million illegal immigrants in this country and millions of others who are here legally. Many of them have wound up arrested and held without charges because they have accents. Goodlatte found one who was a criminal.

Goodlatte's public act of bigotry, racism, xenophobia and ignorance apparently had some effect with people advising council candidates because at least one reneged and others won't talk. John, a man of great integrity and the person running for council I feel best about, has had considerable personal experience with an immigration department that he considers "broken," as he puts it. This is a federal department that can do pretty much as it pleases and answer to nobody. Good people are lost in the system on an hourly basis and nobody seems to care, except those directly involved. I submit that we are a better people than that and that we do care; we just don't know.

This issue, made so public by a hard right Republican xenophobe's protestations, is not important in the overall scheme of things locally, but it does serve to show us which candidates for City Council have integrity and whose beliefs are stronger than those of a Republican congressman who has been bought by people like the Koch brothers for many years. There is no integrity at all in his service.

John is concentrating his campaign on giving the people of Roanoke a voice on council, on figuring out how to make things work without necessarily having to spend a lot of money, on re-creating the kind of neighborhood centers that make cities thrive. He has a great deal of experience working with an often dysfunctional city government as co-owner of an architectural/engineering firm that bid for quite a few city jobs. He knows what's wrong and how to fix it.

The Sanctuary Cities flap was sprung on these candidates who did not respond well. John is responding honestly and I respect that, so my endorsement of him remains strong.

7 comments:

  1. Who really cares who you endorse? Who are you? And why should I care?

    ReplyDelete
  2. who cares? If i were any one of these candidates, I would not waste my time sitting down an talking to you! What are you, other than a blogger???? I haven't seen any media outlet with breaking news that Dan Smith has pulled his endorsement. By sitting with you, these candidates show weakness...

    you are laughable...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous I and II: Apparently a few people care who I endorse. The candidates do. If you don't, you certainly have that option. You also have the option of finding some courage and signing your name. As it appears, you do not have that courage, so why would what you say matter?

      Delete
  3. Thanks for the update and the information that was provided from your article. As for the Anonymous replies who cares - the blogger cares, at least enough to provide information for you and I to form an opinion about one way or the other. Thanks Dan!

    ReplyDelete
  4. You are welcome, Mike, and thank you for signing your name. I know only what I know and only hope to give information for people seeking to cast a vote in Roanoke. If you believe I am wrong, then vote otherwise. That is your right as a citizen and I agree with it 100 percent.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks for your input - there are those of us out there who like to hear from a wide range of people and come to a conclusion of who to vote for using their input as well as our own common sense. While your endorsement/umendorsement/re-endorsement didn't influence whether or not I would vote for Michelle, I appreciated you taking the time to share your opinion. I found your tendency to instantly paint her as some Trump-style racist because you didn't agree with her on this subject without talking to her first to be disappointing (I'm a long-time lurking reader). I thought you were a bit more even-handed and would want to get all of the information before you went on a rant. Also, using the term "concentration camp" is loaded and you probably know it. I personally think you could have made your argument without resorting to implying that anyone who didn't agree with you wanted to round up and gas undocumented immigrants.

    And yes, I support Roanoke being a Sanctuary city and will probably vote the exact same slate as you for city council. I have been a big Trish! fan for years and think Garland and Dykstra will also add some much-needed business heft to the council.

    Please keep giving your honest opinion whether or not it pisses people off. Some of us who are grown up enough to know we won't always agree with everybody will keep on reading.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks for your input Dan - there are those of us out there who like to hear from a wide range of people and come to a conclusion of who to vote for using their input as well as our own common sense. While your endorsement/umendorsement/re-endorsement didn't influence whether or not I would vote for Michelle, I appreciated you taking the time to share your opinion. I found your tendency to instantly paint her as some Trump-style racist because you didn't agree with her on this subject without talking to her first to be disappointing (I'm a long-time lurking reader). I thought you were a bit more even-handed and would want to get all of the information before you went on a rant. Also, using the term "concentration camp" is loaded and you probably know it. I personally think you could have made your argument without resorting to implying that anyone who didn't agree with you wanted to round up and gas undocumented immigrants.

    And yes, I support Roanoke being a Sanctuary city and will probably vote the exact same slate as you for city council. I have been a big Trish! fan for years and think Garland and Dykstra will also add some much-needed business heft to the council.

    Please keep giving your honest opinion whether or not it pisses people off. Some of us who are grown up enough to know we won't always agree with everybody will keep on reading.

    ReplyDelete