, ,  Democratic Socialists of America View All Reponses >>

What steps would you take if elected to protect undocumented residents by directing our local police to not cooperate with ICE in raids, access to public schools, courthouses or other public buildings to the extent possible by law? Also would you commit to vote against measures to promote any form of cooperation with ICE such as 287g?

a. Assert Sovereign Land Authority – As per the previous outlining of why the
people of Austin have every right to do what they deem relevant to the high functioning of society, this includes the sovereign right of access to & stewardship of land. No one person or entity owns land; this fundamental truth must be dealt with as a basis of understanding on where we begin policy. However, we do live in an era of land titles and real estate interest. We are dealing with a perception of ownership. No problem, as this current paradigm provides us a transitional model. In our current paradigm, the city technically owns and presides over the entire municipal area as defined on the map, and the people who live in this municipality have the authority over the governance model. We now have the opportunity to go beyond ‘sanctuary city’, with all the human benefits, and elimination of fear. Within our rights is to provide sovereign asylum to anyone we choose. This does not infringe on anyone’s right to privacy, rather provides a framework for us as a community, if and when we choose, to keep human beings safe. It is within the rights of the People of the land area called Austin to provide asylum to human beings in need. With that comes the responsibility we share in keeping each other accountable to the agreements (laws) we collectively establish that govern the rules of conduct for our society. The conflict we’re dealing with now is a result of confusion over sovereign land rights, and also the concern for public safety. This includes how we conduct policing and deal with offenses to or violations of our local agreements. Any and all matters related to the sovereign land area and societal agreements of Austin will be handled by officials of Austin, and we should only dedicate our officials and resources to handle these internal matters, and not engage in any unnecessary cooperation with federal officials, which could result in misused resources and non-proportional or irrelevant and violating consequences for individuals. So, for example, if an undocumented resident of Austin is arrested for a traffic violation, it would not be relevant for our police to cooperate with federal officials to handle this matter.
b. Criminal Justice – (The issue of how we handle justice altogether must be
drastically altered. In short, we need a more spirit-based forgiveness and healing methodology, for true rehabilitation and ‘repaying of debts’) As to how we directly interact with federal laws and Officials: Since we are operating our own local systems of justice, and if a resident of our area (including undocumented) were to commit a violent crime, we would want to detain and handle that case, again, within our local authority. If any violent criminal has arrived in Austin at all, who is also undocumented and not known through immigration laws, it is obviously the oversight and failure of federal officials at that point as to why the person is even arriving in Austin. Why then, would we turn over a (currently) violent criminal to federal officials, so that criminal can be deported, only to perhaps return and repeat offenses by again penetrating the flawed federal immigration system? When, instead, we could simply detain them within our system of justice to begin the process of rehabilitating and dealing with the consequences of the crime on a local level. In other words, why would we let federal officials let a violent criminal loose on any population, when we could likely do a better job at keeping our own community safe, detain and rehabilitate that person ourselves, and in doing so, perhaps keep our international sisters and brothers away from the probability of that person harming someone?

c. Human Trafficking & other Violent Crimes – The circumstance where it would
be relevant and to the benefit of everyone to cooperate with ICE, or any federal officials, is when it comes to protecting life and keeping people safe. Keeping each other safe is always the foremost role we have as a society. If any officials can prove with evidence and with judges warrants that an individual or entity must be targeted to prevent heinous crimes from persisting, I would hope all of us want to cooperate and deal with that appropriately. Human trafficking, child abuse, toxic chemical and weapons trades are present in most major cities, and Austin is no exception (these activities should not be conflated with immigration). American and international citizens are guilty of violent crimes, and we must become more serious about protecting ourselves by addressing the root causes. We must not become prone to militarizing our responses and seeking to destroy each other. We must find ways to lift up our international youth in every way possible to ensure we do not breed more reasons for violent crime. For now, we must be practical in accepting certain kinds of federal assistance when it makes sense and does not target innocent people. We must ensure that all people are safe, and cooperate with any relevant entity that is helping us keep people safe.
d. Immigration is not a crime – We must become smart about the flow of human beings across this planet, and develop a higher consciousness for handling this very simple human activity. Unlike the eras of the past, we have mapped most of the planet, we are aware of the absolute abundance of resources—we no longer need to exist in our amygdala, root chakra, scarcity-driven mentality, especially for high-level, societal decision making about human movement. At one time, people may have perceived it necessary to mobilize towards war, as an ignorant response to the perceived scarcity, but now we must re-affirm our understanding of the planet and what possibilities it holds for all of us. There is more than enough, and now that we clearly understand that, let’s open our minds to a more peaceful way. Obviously, on an intrinsic level, a border does not truly exist; however, we are in need of a transitional model to handle the state-driven sovereign borders reality we’re dealing with. This begins the decriminalization of border crossing. Incentives are always stronger than penalties. Therefore, we must incentivize immigration through a new legal process through which human rights and security concerns can be mutually addressed. Once we deal with this root issue, we can stop fighting this battle in a legislative and municipal vacuum.
e. Institute Transitional Programs – Young leaders of South Texas and myself
have proposed a conversation on how to unite on how to solve our immigration challenges, while immediately addressing human rights violations and providing a long-term, lasting transitional model toward a world where border- consciousness won’t hinder human relations. This is published on our website on a blog post here: https://www.wearethemayor.com/blog/solutions-for-immigration This idea is merely a starting place for a larger discussion, and is purely open sourced to field new ideas, revisions, feedback, and alternative solutions, and especially (always) the most raw-unfiltered-soul-honoring truth. This is also an attempt at absolute UNITY, to find common ground, considering the high level of division in the perceptions of the American people.
f. Healing – At the core of this issue is the healing that must occur on this land. For
thousands of years, conflict has existed over territorial claim to this area, under which many people have suffered. The most recent several hundred years have been particularly egregious and environmentally damaging, starting with the genocide of indigenous civilizations, the bloody wars waged to expand slavery, & the manic greed to control resources, leading us to the economically oppressive and ecologically exploitative development that still dominates our governmental systems. Yes, we need healing. In regards to immigration, it’s highly likely that the very people trying to move north across the US-Mexico border carry DNA in their bodies that is indigenous this continent, DNA that has been freely expressed for many generations across Turtle Island. And yet, jailed and violated by the confused dream of this generation, our sisters and brothers await the moment when we will awaken and choose better. So, as we discuss this issue, let us not forget who we are and where we’ve come from, and what cyclical opportunities present themselves as moments for unity and the honoring of all life as soon as possible.