Immigration initiative railroaded | Letters

I attended the Aug. 15 county council hearing regarding the immigration/sanctuary initiative sponsored by the Orcas Island Women’s Coalition.

I was shocked that many speakers urged the council to adopt the initiative in order to avoid it appearing on the November ballot. Their rationale was that if the council adopted the ordinance now instead of deferring to the voters in November, it would prevent “divisive, unpleasant discourse” between those who support it and those who don’t. Well, gosh, we can’t have that. Basically, these speakers were urging the county council members to railroad their initiative into law because they don’t want any opposition to have a voice, to shut down debate, the implication being that voters who support the rule of law rather than the rule of feelings are all racists and shouldn’t be heard.

They should be ashamed of themselves. One of the first lessons we all learn in our high school civics classes is that freedom of speech and assembly are first in line in the Bill of Rights. Denying other fellow citizens a voice in our collective law-making is un-American and incidentally, illegal.

Kathy Schwartz

San Juan Island