by Ursula K. Le Guin
The manic speed and vindictiveness of the Republican attack on American core values and institutions make it all too easy for us, the majority opposition, to feel defeated — hopeless. This article is a good antidote.
It’s appropriate that the city of Santa Ana, with its long, deep Mexican-American heritage, its fourth and fifth-generation Mexican-American families, and its sympathetic State government, achieved this genuine victory over prejudice, this refusal of obedience to a hateful, cruel federal policy.
But don’t think it was easy, even there, to do so. Becoming a Sanctuary City isn’t just a matter of words, it takes real commitment, long and steady resolve, and determined hope, to resist and keep resisting the politicians and interests that seek power by supporting those shameful policies, and the misguided citizens who imagine they will gain profit or status from them.
I wish with all my heart that my city, Portland, Oregon, would follow the lead of Santa Ana — stand by its hard-working Mexican-American population, and let all its citizens share the honor of refusing to be bullied into bowing to the orders of a bigoted administration.
¡Nadie es ilegal!
P.S. I was unfair in this final paragraph. Portland did declare itself a sanctuary city a while back, as our new mayor, Ted Wheeler, reminded us in an editorial in The Oregonian, Jan. 29, 2017
I took this declaration as well-intentioned but little else. To be more than a feel-good announcement, it must be implemented with effective instructions to the police, effective provisions for actual sanctuary for people whose documentation is in question, and so forth — a very big commitment, that will inevitably rouse loud and angry opposition. But I was wrong to assume that my city had not made that commitment, and truly hope that it will make and keep it.
March 8, 2017