Wednesday, April 2, 2008

City, not state, should decide

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I read the March 19 article, ‘‘Legislation would ban Takoma Park sanctuary policies,” and wondered why a legislator from Woodbine would want to make my community a haven for criminals.

Del. Warren Miller introduced an anti-community policing bill in Annapolis that would require Takoma Park police to turn in undocumented immigrants. The likely effect of such state legislation, if it were passed, would be to make Takoma Park’s significant immigrant population (whether legal or not) fearful of going to the police to report a crime or to act as witnesses to a crime. I can’t imagine a bill that would make real criminals happier.

Our town, and others with significant immigrant populations, have decided to keep crime fighting separate from immigration enforcement. We want immigrants to trust the police. That makes it harder for real criminals to get away with crimes.

It would be great if Delegate Miller and the other supporters of his legislation quoted in the article (all of whom were from outside Takoma Park), would let our police do their work and protect our community in the way we in Takoma Park determine to be most effective.

As a member of the City Council that first passed our sanctuary law, I urge Delegate Miller to focus on his district and not intrude into Takoma Park’s municipal rights.

Lynne E. Bradley, Takoma Park