Cheat Sheet Q&A: What West Palm Beaches's "Welcoming City" declaration was really all about:
Today's entry: I got a call from a friend asking me if I knew that City of West Palm Beach had an agenda item at the end of March requesting that they become a sanctuary city. Seems odd?
Bottom Line: This note was from a long-time listener and friend of the station about a month ago as he provided me with the first indication that the city was up to some type of related resolution that appeared to be designed to address the President's crackdown on sanctuary cities. If you've listened to us cover the evolution of this "sanctuary city" debate and process locally - you likely know that the devil is in the details. For example, certain organizations labeled Palm Beach County a sanctuary county - let alone specific cities. Sheriff Bradshaw was clear from the onset that Palm Beach County isn't and won't be a sanctuary county as long as he's sheriff. He pointed us to a federal court ruling that pertained to the legal process for handling undocumented persons as it pertained to ICE and INS. What I've learned through this process is that there is a significant difference between posturing by local governments and out-and-out defiance of federal law. Most cities/county's caught in this debate aren't taking direct action to defy federal law. Some are. The following cities are among those that actually issue official local government ID's, often including driver's licences regardless of immigration status:
- New York
- San Francisco
- Washington D.C.
There are many smaller cities around the country that have taken similar action in recent years. These are true "sanctuary cities" that are in clear defiance of federal law. I've not found any local examples that meet demonstrable defiance of federal law. This includes what West Palm Beach just did with the "Welcoming City" resolution. It's just political posturing. Reading through all of the sections - they clearly state that the city must adhere to state and federal law. They even included a section refuting liability at the city level if employees don't adhere to governing laws. Here's the actual language from one of the sections that's indicative of the resolution:
SECTION 3: No Agent or Agency shall request information about or otherwise investigate or assist in the investigation of the Citizenship or immigration status of any person unless such inquiry or investigation is required by Florida Statutes; Federal Law; the City of West Palm Beach Code of Ordinances; or other binding court decisions, opinions or processes. Notwithstanding this provision, the City Attorney, or his/her designee, may investigate and inquire about immigration status when relevant to potential or actual litigation or an administrative proceeding in which the Cities or may be a party.
So in essence the resolution says a lot but always says that the federal and state law must be adhered to. This is the very essence of political posturing. If anyone does find that laws are being ignored please let me know but otherwise this is just the latest effort by the city to try to insert itself into geopolitics (kind of like when WPB banned official city travel to North Carolina when the gender ID bathroom ban passed in the state even through no travel to North Carolina was planned or is standard for the city). Here's a link to the actual resolution: http://wpb.org/getmedia/80447d85-2c4e-440c-a661-ebad7fdde705/ACM21320;
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