Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The City of Lake Worth IS NOT a 'sanctuary city' (but why so many people believe it is)

Stay with me here, first some background. In today's Palm Beach Post is an article by Lawrence Mower that refers to a protest in Lake Worth last year. EarthFirst!er Cara Jennings was there along with her crew of Anarchists including the TWAC's. No doubt you're familiar with this photograph taken that day:
Many in the media were there that day to document the goings-on which was curious because the protest wasn't made public until earlier in the day. You can draw your own conclusions. A crowd of people from the Guatemalan-Maya Center (GMC) were brought to the protest to join Father O'Loughlin (the GMC executive director), who was already at the location. 

I haven't heard anything from Father O'Loughlin in a while so checked out the GMC website and discovered he is no longer on the board of directors. The GMC has a new website now, much better than the previous one they had. Took a little tour and much to my surprise came upon this dated July 9th of this year:
In the absence of an effective federal government response, local governments throughout the United States have been supplying their own movements, such as offering sanctuary.
     A sanctuary city is a response of the heart and it is a city that will not act as an instrument of federal enforcement. In Palm Beach County, which has always lived in a state of dependence on the work of undocumented immigrant laborers, it’s about time we acknowledged our indebtedness to immigrant laborers and made provisions for their safety while we’re waiting for a response by the federal government.
     For full story and statement from Frank O’Loughlin, Executive Director, on “Sanctuary Cities” please click here.
On July 14th, just 5 days later, Frank Cerabino penned this in The Palm Beach Post titled "Jupiter, Lake Worth surprised to be on ‘sanctuary city’ list".

Jupiter has their own center for the Guatemalan/Maya community called El Sol.

Note that Lake Worth IS NOT a 'sanctuary city'. Anybody can come up with a list. However, when you read what Father O'Loughlin wrote you can see how someone could get the impression that the City is. It might be a good idea for the City of Lake Worth to boldly state the truth of the matter to eliminate any confusion among the public. And it would also be a good idea for the GMC to also state the truth of the matter so immigrants don't come to Lake Worth seeking 'sanctuary'.

Here is an excerpt from Cerabino's column which explains the situation quite nicely:
     Lake Worth probably made the list of sanctuary cities because the non-profit Guatemalan-Maya Center is there.
     “We help a lot of undocumented people,” said center employee Jill Cole. “But there’s no guarantee of safety here. We see families being deported all the time.
     “One of our teens was getting off the bus to come to class the other day, and ICE was there checking papers at the bus stop.”

     Lake Worth City Manager Michael Bornstein was mystified to learn this month that his city has been labeled a sanctuary city.
     “It caught us all by surprise,” he said. “I asked if there was any ordinance or proclamation in the past, and there was nothing. I think we just got roped up with a bunch of other cities.”