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Ana Nuncio, Letter to Salem News: Vote yes on Question 1

To the editor:

On Nov. 7, Salem voters face a historic choice in voting on Question 1, the “Sanctuary for Peace” ordinance.

Voting yes on Question 1 will speak volumes to immigrants, their families, their neighbors, and their friends. It will signal that our community — despite fear-mongering assaults against immigrants by the Trump administration — is closing ranks around a group of people that it considers integral to its economic, cultural and civic well-being.

The Sanctuary for Peace ordinance is much more than a “feel-good” measure. A yes vote on Question 1 would protect immigrants who have no criminal record, and who pose no danger to the community, when they go to school; go to the emergency room; and report fires, accidents, or crimes.

For immigrants, this would say that a law-abiding (yes, possibly undocumented) person can do all these things without fear of being asked about immigration status or reported to federal immigration authorities.

Many who oppose the ordinance believe that it says our city is willing to overlook “lawlessness.” In their eyes, immigrants without proper documentation should be deported for violating a law, or go back home to “wait in line.” They refer to a misunderstood history of their own immigrant ancestors, believing in a perfect immigration system that never was.

Question 1 presents us with a moral reckoning. History has bound us together. How can we go back to an imagined past? We need to close ranks, protect our immigrant neighbors, and safeguard our values as a community and a nation.

Ana Nuncio

Salem

Friends of Salem Sanctuary
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