To the Editor:

On August 28, 1963 at the steps on the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., before 250,000 marchers in support of enlarged civil rights for Americans, the Rev. Martin Luther King ignited a light before the nation: "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."

Throughout this campaign, Mark Hamilton and I have reached out directly to Chatham Township residents to talk about the serious challenges that we face as a community, the greatest of which is Affordable Housing, which promises to urbanize the Township while wholly fleecing taxpayers. Mark and I expect voters to base their decisions on Mark’s and my positions as well as the content of our character.

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In stark contrast, in an ill-conceived November 2 Letter to the Editor titled A positive vision for Chatham Township from Ewald and Fondaco, Paul Payton pre-judged me. He invoked partisan "identity politics" games to single me out on the basis of his perception of my origin and ethnicity. Mr. Payton professed his “frank surprise and dismay” that an “apparently Hispanic” woman would oppose the Murphy’s administration’s woefully misguided and lawless policy that ties the hands of local police by foreclosing them from cooperation with federal civil immigration enforcement. 

To conclude that I “should” support “sanctuary” policies on the basis that I “appear to be Hispanic” is to pre-judge me on the basis of my origin and ethnicity. That's the dictionary definition of prejudice; indeed, of racism. Had Mr. Payton made a workplace decision on the basis of my origin or ethnicity, he would be committing **unlawful discrimination** under local, state, and federal law. 

To be clear, whether I'm Hispanic is *immaterial* to this election contest. To somehow assert that it's relevant to this contest is toxic, divisive, and bitterly partisan. I am appalled by such prejudice.

A “sanctuary state” policy in fact operates to *shield* those criminals who happen to be in the U.S. unlawfully at the expense of citizens and those who are lawfully in the U.S. To be clear: yes, I oppose that. I've proudly and ardently devoted close to 30 years of my working life to advocate and protect the rights of lawful immigrants to our great nation. It’s a grievous disservice to those who seek, gain, and maintain a lawful stay in the U.S., who work lawfully and make high human capital contributions to our economy and nation, to "protect" unlawfully present criminals from justice.

On November 5th, Chatham Township voters should weigh the content and character of the candidates. Vote in the best interests of Chatham Township by casting your ballots for Mark Hamilton and for me.

Thank you. - Rez Estevez