To the Editor,
America’s great strength was built on the cooperation of diverse groups, not the separation of these groups. A few weeks ago many of us filled up the room at a town council meeting to request that Livingston adopt a Fair and Welcoming Resolution. Such a resolution would express that we value our diverse community, and protect all of our residents and visitors as they go about their daily lives. A strong Resolution would not violate any existing laws, and would declare that we would not voluntarily use our local law enforcement as immigration agents to carry out draconian federal immigration laws. It is important to many of us that Livingston adopt such a resolution.
During our history there have been waves of anti immigrant sentiment.The Immigration Act of 1924 specifically excluded Asians, and severely restricted those from southern and eastern Europe. Why? There was anxiety in the US regarding our security after WW1 and the policy was designed to preserve the homogeneity of the United States. It took almost 30 years before that law was repealed.We cite this example because those barred and restricted groups are closely aligned with the citizens of Livingston today. It seems to us that history may be repeating itself. Jeff Sessions, the Attorney General of the United States is on record praising the 1924 law. The current administration is stoking exactly those kinds of fears in the cause of making us “safer.” In fact, the opposite is true-fear of local law enforcement, which may happen if we used our local police as immigration agents, results in less cooperation from the whole community.
You might ask-why would LIvingston need to adopt this kind of resolution? Passing this resolution would not at all be a condemnation of our current municipal services or police, but would be entirely consistent with the inclusivity we already have. It would put a policy in place should a situation occur in the future that requires us to take a stand during this challenging time in our nation.There is no downside for Livingston is adopting this resolution. We support our community in taking a stand that is certainly on the right side of history and provides a clear example of our values in protecting the vulnerable. We cannot be bystanders and we urge the readers of this letter to contact our town council in support of making Livingston a Fair and Welcoming Community.
Amy & Michael Ipp