City’s disregard for federal law makes it hard to support bond

Letter date: 
Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Letter publisher: 
Statesman Journal
Letter author: 
Dan Reid
Letter body: 

Salem recently declared itself a sanctuary city and police were told to ignore relevant federal law. Why, then, should taxpayers approve a new facility for police who cannot enforce the law?

The city’s response is that immigration law enforcement falls under an Oregon statute, as though this excuses compliance under the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution. Has the city sought a change in this Oregon statute? And what compelled the council to make its declaration? Obviously, the city’s excuse is merely a red herring.

Police need a new facility. But by voting against the bond, I am exercising the only real influence I have on the ability of police to enforce everybody’s law.

If a law is objectionable, work within our democratic system to change the law. In the meantime, everybody (government especially) is obligated to obey the law. Salem’s disregard for federal law is both arbitrary, arrogant and sets the poorest kind of example.