Several years ago, the Durango City Council voted to designate Durango as a sanctuary for illegal immigrants. At the time, I considered it another harmless liberal waste of time. Now that immigration is front and center, I consider the designation an embarrassment. Are steps being taken to return Durango to reality on this matter? – Anonymous
The key phrase here is “return to reality.” This assumes that Durango ever was normal in the first place.
When has Durango ever been reality? Never.
That being said, here’s a vastly oversimplified explanation of the illegal immigrant “sanctuary” thing.
Back in mid-2004, an advocacy group asked the City Council to adopt a policy similar to “sanctuary” declarations passed by several other cities nationwide.
Durango’s resolution affirmed “nondiscrimination on the basis of a person’s national origins” and said “Durango shall remain a place where all persons will be treated equally and with respect and dignity, regardless of immigration status.”
The act further stated, “municipal resources shall not be utilized to identify, apprehend or deport any noncitizen residents on the sole basis of immigration status.”
It concludes with: “In the event of a conflict between federal or state law and regulations and the terms of this resolution, such federal or state law or regulations shall control and supersede any conflicting provisions of this resolution.”
The resolution passed. Then all heck broke loose. Detractors were furious, and Durango was much abused on talk radio.
The resolution largely was forgotten until now.
In fact, when reached for comment last week, City Manager Ron LeBlanc admitted he hadn’t actually read the resolution. It was approved long before LeBlanc emigrated (legally) to Durango from Idaho
However, he said he talked about the resolution with his predecessor, Bob Ledger, who emigrated (legally) to Durango from Connecticut.
“At the time, there was a lot of misinformation, and it was blown up by the press. We didn’t declare the city to be a sanctuary,” LeBlanc said.
Sigh. Here we go again.
b b b
As predicted, last week’s column caused a spike in the Mea Culpa Mailbag.
b On the issue of the local Democratic Party headquarters being located adjacent to a “bong shop,” three alert readers pointed out a quirk of fate occurring in Montezuma County.
“Last Monday, you squandered your space with witticisms pertaining to the location of the Democrats’ HQ in Durango,” writes a reader called One Happy Dem in Crestview.
“The real scoop, which you missed, is that the Republicans’ HQ in Cortez is between two head shops with a medical marijuana dispensary across the street. Darn, they one-upped us.”
b On the issue of evangelicals anointing Rotary Park with oil before a gay pride festival, loyal reader Steve Doob seeks clarification.
“I appreciate Vi McCoy’s response, but the questions were never answered: Have more people gone to church lately, and have recent rains washed holy oil into the river and killed fish? McCoy said, ‘The oil is only dangerous to those who aren’t Christian.’ That sounds like bad news for fish that haven’t converted,” he writes.
To close the loop, local clergy say churchgoing has been steady, with no unexplained upticks in attendance, and wildlife officials have seen neither oil slicks nor fish kills in the Animas River.
However, if there were a holy oil spill, two species of fish would be hurt the most: rainbow trout and brown trout.
Ironically, the rainbow is a symbol of gay pride. After a holy oil spill, maybe the rainbow trout will develop different spawning habits.
As for brown trout, we must point out that it is a non-native species. Judging by the color of their skin and lack of immigration papers, these fish should be sent back to where they came from.
Salmo truta is better known as the German brown trout. Deport ’em back to the fatherland. Be a patriot. American streams for American fish.
E-mail questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301. You can request anonymity if you serve fresh trout with freedom fries.