MALIBU A SANCTUARY CITY: A PRETENTIOUS CONCEIT OR WHAT?

Upcoming on the Malibu City Council agenda, another vanity: That Malibu declare itself a sanctuary city, and prohibit the use of city funds or resources to enforce federal civil immigration law.

But before raising my objections (on public radio 97.5 KBU and select websites everywhere,) let me state, as a long standing progressive liberal, that I am unalterably opposed to the outrages proposed by President Trump.

Indeed, sadly, I am depressed by his appointments to head the Education, Treasury and Justice departments, and the EPA. The list goes on and on.

And I find his executive orders equally objectionable, in particular his immigration edicts, threatening sweeps and arbitrary deportations. They sadly stir my memories of the rise of fascism.

To be sure, by questioning the designation of Malibu as a sanctuary city might cast me as a misanthrope. Fair enough. It is an issue I’ve wrestled with.

Whatever, a simple symbol as it might be, declaring Malibu a sanctuary city I believe at best is a pretentious conceit.

At worst, it is could be considered cynical, and, if anything, would subject our privileged, pricey coastal village to derision. It’s not like we have an estimated 375,000 illegals living in our city, as does L.A.

True, it might comfort the conscience of some, but, really, it wont do much else.

What are we going to do besides putting out a press release? Who will read it? Not the Trumpites. Are we going to pad our city attorney’s budget to defend someone who is picked up within the city limits?

We also just do not have the resources, such as housing, to welcome illegals, indeed not to welcome anyone, not even first responders and local teachers, except those with deep pockets.

And does the city really want to get involved in what might be a long and costly battle between local and federal government on immigration. I think not.

Actually, the term sanctuary was most recently applied to the movement in the 1980s, when churches and synagogues sheltered fugitives from Central America denied asylum by a recalcitrant Federal government.

To be sure, there are illegal immigrants in Malibu, albeit mostly during the day, many of whom toil here as gardeners, house cleaners and laborers.

Is it the city being motivated by a sincere sympathy for their anxiety. Or is it the fear that a federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement sweep might result in untidy landscapes and homes?

Certainly the sweeps will not include the high end homes of our foreign owners, the part time residents, from Russia, the Mideast, China, who have blessed the local real estate market with their cash purchases.

You might say their investing in Malibu real estate in effect already has made it a sanctuary city.

If the city of Malibu is really going to protest immigration, what about Trump’s other abuses. Every day it seems he is throwing a spitball at something.

Can I expect a sanctuary for journalists who have been painted enemies of democracy? What about those who question the motives of local governments?

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hallkaplan

Parallel careers as an urban planner and a journalist, principally at present airing commentaries on pubic radio 99.1 KBU.FM The many arrows in my quiver have included Emmy award winning reporter/ producer for local Fox Television News, design critic for the Los Angeles Times, urban affairs reporter for The New York Times, an editor of The New York Post, contributor to various popular and professional publications, news services and broadcast outlets, including Reuters, NET, NBC, CBS, NPR and the BBC. Founding editor of the East Harlem (NY) Independent. A diversity of professional positions and consultancies in the private and public sectors, (Metro, Disney Imagineering, Howard Hughes, M. Milken, NYC Educational Construction Fund, US Comptroller of the Currency etc,) assorted academic appointments (UCLA, USC, CCNY, Art Center etc.), and always open to new challenge. And let us not forget fashioning sand castles and acting on 90210, crafting TV docs, design reviews, master plans. Books: "The Dream Deferred: People, Politics and Planning in Suburbia," "L.A. Lost and Found," an architectural history of Los Angeles, "L.A. Follies," a collection of essays, and co-author of "The New York City Handbook." Writings have appeared in academic texts, commentaries on the web, scripts for TV, and wherever, latest the Architects Newspaper, The Planning Report and Planetizen.

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