Thursday, March 30, 2006


There are a number of proposed laws kicking around Congress that could, potentially, criminalize being an undocumented alien in the United States. This has sparked huge rallies in various cities around the country. Now we are seeing indications that people in power may also not be supporting such efforts.

Last month Cardinal Mahoney in Los Angeles expressly indicated that the Los Angeles Archdiocese would refuse to ask immigrants for residency documents before providing services to immigrants, even if a Federal law required it. Mahoney also indicated that "the Catholic Church exists to serve people, not the government." I guess the FBI could go and arrest Cardinal Mahoney for not asking these questions. I don't think they will though. So, you have a very prominent religious figure whose church ministers to many immigrants coming out against the law.

Yesterday the City Council in Chicago made law an Executive Order in place since 1985, and renewed in 1989 that says

No agent or agency shall request information about or otherwise investigate or assist in the investigation of citizenship or residency status of any person unless such an inquiry or investigation is required by statute, ordinance, federal regulation or court decision.

Alderman Ed Burke noted that resisting "draconian" Federal laws is a Chicago tradition, noting that in the 1850s the Chicago City Council passed an ordinance barring the Chicago Police Department from enforcing the Fugitive Slave Act. The Fugitive Slave Act!?! Ed Burke compared immigration laws currently proposed to the Fugitive Slave Act. So now you have the City Council in America's third largest city, with the largest inland Mexican, Central American, Polish, and Ukrainian populations in the United States speaking out against the law.

What if you passed a law and nobody came?


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