sanctuary cities inlineA few months ago, we started planning our annual panel discussion, which we usually hold sometime in April to coincide with Tax Day. Early on we decided it would be on Sanctuary Cities, a nice meaty and timely topic. We expected that in a well-known Sanctuary City like San Francisco, it would be a cinch to locate a prominent proponent and we would be hard-pressed to find any prominent person to take the contrarian position publicly in a panel. But a funny thing happened on the way to organizing this panel: we could not secure even one prominent politician, public official, or journalist willing to defend their public stance in a serious, balanced panel discussion on the issue. Just as strangely, we located a prominent opponent of Sanctuary Cities more than willing to discuss the issue publicly in one quick email response to our invitation. It does seem odd indeed that in the most noted Sanctuary City in the country, not one notable proponent would step forward.

Our 4th Annual Panel Discussion is now officially set, so save the date and get ready for one heck of a discussion on the issue. It will be held on Sunday, June 11, 2017 at the San Francisco Public Library (Main) at 100 Larkin Street in the Latino/Hispanic Community Meeting Room located on the library’s lower level (enter at 30 Grove Street and go downstairs). The panel discussion will run from 1:30-3:30 PM, but we usually bring our cattle prod to clear out the room for cleanup at the end due to audience engagement during Q&A during the last half hour, so we may run slightly longer, especially this time.

Our guest panelists will be Steve Frank, noted political consultant and publisher of California Political Review, and Starchild, noted political activist and Outreach Director and Vice Chair of the Libertarian Party of San Francisco. Steve Frank will be presenting the case against Sanctuary Cities, and Starchild will present the case for them. We thank Steve Frank for agreeing to participate period, especially in a Sanctuary City, and further agreeing to participate in a panel where the hosting organization has one of its own members taking the contrary position on the panel. We thank Starchild for stepping up to the plate and speaking on a heartfelt issue that local politicians and journalists felt wasn’t important enough to give a fair public airing.

Sanctuary Cities is a highly-charged, emotional, and complicated issue touching on many aspects of what government should be and shouldn’t be doing. Should the borders be opened or closed? How do you properly vet for terrorists? Should the government be protecting jobs? What about the tragic shooting of Kate Steinle? Should taxpayers be forced to pay for legal costs of those who chose to enter the US illegally? Does the welfare state encourage more immigration? Should Dreamers be detained and deported? How are overcrowding and limited resources for government schools affected by illegal immigration? What about lawsuits faced by Sanctuary Cities when an illegal immigrant commits a real crime (against an actual victim)? What is the proper relationship between local governments and the federal government? What about immigrants who just want to work in this country and aren’t interested in becoming citizens? The list of questions could go on and on, and undoubtedly our 4th Annual Panel Discussion will not cover every possible angle, but we can absolutely promise you that it will be a provocative and informative few hours giving a fair airing of the issue that you won’t hear anywhere else. Please join us on June 11— and bring your own questions too!