Why must Los Alamos be divided?

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Guests Editorial

Our nation is divided. Must Los Alamos be too? Why, so often, are letters or comments at public meetings about personal attack? Perhaps we should remember Thomas Jefferson’s, “Every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle.”

In the Dec. 1 edition of the Los Alamos Monitor, Jess Cullinan – incidentally, a prime driver in asking the school board to pass a sanctuary policy – wrote labeling “those vocal few” as seeking to “sow chaos and to sabotage” the school board’s and superintendent’s efforts to protect vulnerable students.

But, it is that assumption – that students are even vulnerable – that is our right to question. Cullinan’s letter defines that federal immigration policy “prohibits by law” asking about immigration status and that ICE activity in schools is restricted, proof – based on Cullinan’s own information – that the Los Alamos effort is not about solving a real problem but make a political statement.

And, why the personal attack? Cullinan says critics “resort to stirring up fears.” No, we exercise – as is our duty and our obligation – our right to voice concerns about something the board moved on way too quickly, with way too little public notice and with way too little indication it’s even needed. In fact, where did this effort originate, just from Cullinan asking for it? Culliinan slams critics, calling theirs an “ideological campaign.”  Yet, this unneeded policy will affect only a tiny percentage of students, so whose is the ideological campaign?

It is also curious that she would label those on the side of law and order – or who happen to disagree with her – as “anti-immigrant.” 

One of the most vocal critics, Lisa Shin, is a minority and the daughter of immigrants. One is reminded of the Sierra Club’s absurdity some years back of labeling a black former civil rights activist as racist because he said the club must oppose continued unfettered immigration for environmental reasons.

Cullinan calls the board action “clear, common sense,” but we dispute that, and why is she – in fact the left in general, you know, the inclusive, “tolerant” side – so eager to silence any debate or discussion that is not in lockstep with their own views? 

To continue Cullilnan’s tutorial on federal immigration policy and the courts, there is increasing criticism that the courts – not based on the law, but politics – are exceeding their authority and are undermining immigration law that was based on Congressional action, in other words, majority rule. Also, immigration law is clear, in the words of black Congresswoman Barbara Jordan who headed a Clinton commission on immigration, “Credibility in immigration policy can be summed up in one sentence:  Those who should get in, get in; those who should be kept out, are kept out; and those who should not be here will be required to leave.” Does that mean that Jordan, a liberal Democrat who devoted her life to minority issues, was anti-immigrant? 

Should anyone be inclined to have the argument “cluttered” by facts that national corporate media aren’t interested in reporting, there is heavy documentation that Chuck Schumer, Joe Biden, Barack Obama, and Hillary and Bill Clinton until fairly recently all favored exactly the immigration reforms that Donald Trump is proposing. Bernie Sanders had a long record of voicing concerns about high immigration’s impact on American workers. So why the character assassination – especially from Democrats – of Trump or any American who in ANY way voices ANY concerns about the absolute immigration tsunami sweeping our nation?

Cullinan professes dismay that public servants “are under attack,” based on misinformation and ignorance. First, there has been no attack, just people voicing their views, as is our right. Secondly, “misinformation and ignorance” are patronizing and short-sighted. As a liberal Democrat, Kathleene Parker has worked on immigration for 30 years and has written and blogged nationally, including for the prestigious Center for Immigration Studies, with its high editorial standards and requirements for being able to prove all assertions.

So, please let’s move forward in this debate – indeed – on all issues confronting our town, by focusing on the issues, NOT by attacking others about whom we know nothing in an attempt to silence them.