Should a San Jose Law Limit the City’s Cooperation with ICE?

By HarshLight (Flickr: San Jose City Hall) [CC BY 2.0] via Wikimedia Commons

Estephany Haro
El Observador

Ever since President Donald Trump took office, fear has become the new norm for immigrant families who fear deportation and being separated from their loved ones by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.

Even though deportation is nothing new to families across the U.S. there’s more fear than ever. Therefore, San Jose’s councilman Lan Diep is proposing a new law that would prohibit the city of San Jose from cooperating with ICE officials. This new proposed ordinance could be a good thing for the city of San Jose.

The new law proposed is called “Shield Our City” and would prohibit the San Jose Police Department from entering a formal agreement with ICE, requiring the agency to seek permission from the city attorney’s office before carrying out any raids in safe zones, such as schools, hospitals, courthouses and places of worship, according to the Mercury News.

I think passing this law would make families feel safer when they go out to work or when they’re picking up their children from school. At the same time, it would also create safer communities since undocumented people would denounce crimes without fearing the local police enforcement.

However, not all politicians are taking this proposed ordinance with positivity. “I appreciate the intent,” said Mayor Sam Liccardo said to the Mercury News, “I think this is something we need to analyze and understand carefully.”

I understand why Mayor Liccardo would be hesitant about the “Shield Our City” ordinance, I would also be hesitant if I were in his shoes. Passing such ordinance would mean “declaring war” to Trump’s administration. They have already threatened to remove federal funding to all “Sanctuary Cities” who don’t cooperate with ICE.

But does this ordinance would also protect undocumented people who have committed serious crimes such as murder and rape? I wouldn’t want my city to protect criminals in my community. But truth is, anyone with a DUI or traffic ticket could be a criminal under Trump’s administration. He has broken his word after deporting hundreds of thousands of innocents, law abiding immigrants.

However, some immigrant activist groups argue that these deportations are not  much different from Obama’s administration, who had deported more immigrants than any other previous president. According to governmental data, Obama’s administration deported around 2.5 million immigrants, making Obama “Deporter in Chief.” But according to the data, most of those people had a criminal record.

But according to Los Angeles Times, Trump is targeting up to 8 million people for deportation, most of those people their only crimes might be a traffic ticket or re-entering the country. Even Dreamers are exposed under this administration, At least three dreamers have been detained by ICE officials.

Therefore, I do think that councilman’s Diep proposed law would be a good thing for our immigrant community in San Jose. However, it should be careful analyzed to keep everyone safe by not protecting the undocumented people with serious crimes.