By Adrian Murillo, PJALS Steering Committee


I moved to Spokane a year ago. When I first learned of the city’s “sanctuary” ordinance as it now stands, I thought to myself: I’ve landed in a city with a social conscience. I can do good work here. This tells me Spokane is for all.

Good progressive policy direction starts with our common ground, humanity’s shared needs and vulnerabilities. 99% of us populate this common ground struggling to survive, hopefully among hospitable people and neighbors.

But some people reject this common ground, swept away by reactionary and racist political currents. They insist true security requires social conditions of rampant suspicion and paranoia about the changing face of things.

The anti-immigrant group Respect Washington wants police and city employees to embody and implement their racism and vigilant cynicism, create a climate of fear and uncertainty. What’s next? The enforced display of armbands designating status?

But local law enforcement cannot solve a situation which is—in scope and scale—a complex, geopolitical issue.

As Hannah Arendt noted in The Origins of Totalitarianism: “The Rights of Man had been defined as inalienable because they were supposed to be independent of all governments.

There can be no social justice without communities of social conscience guiding policy direction towards the protection of the politically and economically vulnerable.

Nationally and locally, social conscience is spawning a greater awakening, gaining momentum, steadily climbing that moral arc towards justice for all.

No human being is illegal just as no baby is born illegitimate anymore; that way of thinking and talking has no moral standing in this changing world. There are documented and undocumented people and no one has the credible authority to burden and threaten the undocumented with negative, slanderous judgment, criminal stereotyping or racial profiling.

Protecting the victims of civil wars and drug wars, official corruption, the ravages of poverty and ecological ruin is nothing to be ashamed of. The message we must keep on sending is that we refuse to be the misers of love like the xenophobes among us.

I hope PJALS members and allies deepen their commitment to supporting and organizing Latinos in this area because despite the fact there are many kinds of immigrants in this area, it is Latinos and Mexicans in particular who get singled out by one local city council member and many right-wing demagogues like that pendejo Trump.

It is long past time to recognize and accept Mexico is family, connected by blood and history, and deserves to be seen as a primary relationship of the U.S.