One of the main arguments made by supporters of sanctuary city policies is that it will help “bring people out of the shadows.” And so cities around the U.S. have declared their intention to not cooperate with federal law enforcement. You can see the list at FAIR’s website of these cities and counties.
However, to paraphrase George Orwell, some law breakers are more equal than others. In Tacoma, Washington, which has a reputation as a “progressive” city, and which is just down the road from the sanctuary city of Seattle, a group of citizens found out just how unequal they were.
Their crime? A group of frustrated citizens painted some crosswalks where the city refused to provide them. And the city threatened to prosecute them.
According to the News Tribune, which interviewed them, “The trio asked to speak anonymously because of the prosecution threat. The newspaper agreed so that readers could better understand their philosophy and why they did what they did.”
“This demonstration project is to show what a progressive city actually looks like for people who can’t afford cars or choose not to use them. Those people should not be honked at. They should not be hit. They should not be yelled at. They should be accommodated. They should be rewarded,” said one of the group, Citizens for a Safer Tacoma.
The city justified removing the citizen painted crosswalks because they violate Federal law. “Before creating any new crosswalk, City staff use standards from the Federal Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices to help determine when conditions are favorable,” read a city statement about the matter.
And indeed, cities are obligated (with the threat of losing federal highway funds – see note 1) to adopt the MUTCD standards making every crosswalk in the U.S. subject to federal approval.
However, many of the same cities that would say their hands are tied by the federal government when it comes to placing crosswalks are more than happy to turn a blind eye to illegal immigrants living there, even if they do hit people using the crosswalk. And even though Federal law prohibits them from keeping their law enforcement officers from telling DHS if someone is here illegally. That law doesn’t matter as much, apparently, as having Uniform Traffic Control Devices.
And as groups opposed to deportations have become determined to pass an amnesty, they have ratcheted up protests including blocking traffic and other forms of civil disobedience.
I suppose the Citizens for a Safer Tacoma are guilty of blocking traffic as well, but there seems to be a difference in how one group’s use of civil disobedience is treated, including the fact that they were out painting, literally in the shadows at 3 am vs chaining themselves across a road at 3 pm.
As the DHS continues to implement a rolling administrative amnesty by the Obama Administration, including the release of 36,000 criminal aliens, it’s reasonable to expect more Orwellian headlines to come.