To the editor:
Petitioners do not want individuals to be put at risk due to recent mandates that are being used to vigorously deport immigrants. We are not asking to become sanctuary cities. Using this term to describe the petitions is misleading. We are not requesting that our towns provide special services to immigrants or refugees, rather that people be left in peace if they are not disrupting the lives of others.
Nevertheless, research shows that sanctuary cities are safer due the fact that those who are undocumented are more likely to cooperate with police when it comes to reporting crimes or assisting officers. Nashua police will only contact federal immigration officials about offenders charged with felonies or violent misdemeanors. Otherwise, they don’t ask. Nashua is not a sanctuary city.
We understand funding concerns, however the federal government does not enjoy absolute power; it’s states’ rights that are at issue. Courts have made clear that the federal government cannot withhold funds for unrelated purposes. Funds allotted for education or infrastructure projects cannot be withheld because towns are not assisting ICE. This is supported by the 10th amendment and in the case Printz vs. U.S., Justice Scalia stated, “The Federal Government may not compel the States to enact or administer a federal regulatory program.”
Areas across 30 states have declared themselves sanctuaries. We prefer that our tax dollars not be used to fund town resources as extensions of ICE, or to create a religious registry. New Hampshire citizens enjoy the right to petition local governments to create policies that best represent them. Petitioners obtained the requisite signatures needed to present these warrant articles; Peterborough will hear input and vote in May. Other towns with petitions in circulation will go before town meetings as per their calendars. All citizens have the opportunity to offer input and vote on this matter.
Grace Aldrich, Balmeet Kaur Khalsa, Jane Simpson
Beth Bradford, Andrea Cadwell, Steven Graves, Sarah Steinberg Heller, Cathy Lanigan, Ivy Vann