“Welcoming” Or Sanctuary City? A Distinction Without A Difference


[Cross-posted from OC Daily]

Among the items on the December 20 Anaheim City Council agenda to create a “Mayoral Task Force to Research and Establish A Welcoming Anaheim Initiative.” The item was requested by newly-elected District 3 Councilman Jose F. Moreno, a professor of Chicano Studies at Cal State Long Beach.

Moreno is on the record as a strong supporter of Sanctuary City status for Anaheim, which begs the questions of whether there is any real difference between a “Welcoming City” and a “Sanctuary City,” and whether his initiative is simply a Trojan Horse to stealthily achieve that goal?

The Welcoming America website used to have a page explaining the difference between Welcoming and Sanctuary city status. It’s no longer publicly accessible but there is a cached version available from November 22, 2016.

“Welcoming Cities promote policies and programs that foster inclusion for all, while a sanctuary city designation refers to some degree of non-engagement on federal immigration enforcement.”

“Some [Welcoming] communities may also choose to enact policies that reduce engagement with federal immigration enforcement officials -like sanctuary cities – but this is not a requirement for being a Welcoming City.”

“While a sanctuary city may also be a Welcoming City, the term sanctuary city speaks to a narrow set of circumstances – where a city has codified by local ordinance a practice that prohibits municipal funds or resources to be used to enforce federal immigration laws, usually by not allowing police or municipal employees to inquire about an individual’s immigration status.”

Judging by Welcoming Cities own description, the difference between Welcoming and Sanctuary city status is more semantic than substantive. The former doesn’t carry the polarizing branding of the latter, but the outcomes are substantially the same.

According to the same website page, characteristics of a Welcoming City include “programs and policies designed to identify and reduce the barriers (linguistic, cultural, unwelcoming climate, etc.) that prevent immigrants and refugees from reaching their full potential” and “core areas of welcoming are leadership and communications; equitable access; economic opportunity and education; civic engagement; and safe and connected communities.”

Welcoming Cities “commit to institutionalize strategies ensuring the ongoing inclusion and long-term economic and social integration of newcomers” and communicates “messages of unity and shared values permeate the community through the media, through the voices of leaders, and among residents.”

This is the typical and intentionally anodyne rhetoric practiced by progressive groups, and through which they’re experienced in driving truck-sized political agendas. For example, “Civic engagement” is a standard euphemism for political organizing and electioneering. Think about the hyper-political AnaheimBROS student clubs organized in Anaheim’s public high schools by Moreno’s political supporters under the rubric of “breaking stereotypes,” and extrapolate that to a city-wide program of politically organizing immigrant residents under the auspices of City Hall.

If small, hands-off government is supposed to be the guiding principle of the new Tait Majority, then why would they want to put city government into to business of organizing and “integrating” immigrants residents (whether legal or illegal)? Doesn’t that properly lie within the sphere of non-governmental institutions, not to mention the natural dynamics of a free society?

The city’s existing and much-ballyhooed “City of Kindness” and “Hi Neighbor!” programs pursue essentially the same goals and are not exclusive of Anaheim’s immigrant residents? What would a Welcoming City initiative do that these existing outreach programs do not – other than serve as a vity-wdie vehcile for Moreno’s brand of identity politics?

History Of Radical Rhetoric Key To Intentions
In gauging Councilman Moreno’s intentions for making Anaheim a “Welcoming City,” it is necessary to consider his Moreno’s views and rhetoric on illegal immigration in general and Sanctuary Cities in particular.

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  1. Tait is a dupe. It’s that simple.

  2. the audacity of those people. In exchange for providing low cost child care, gardening service, farming and such they expect to be treated with kindness?
    This must be out to a stop. By keeping the status quo we can continue to exploit them for all they are worth.

    • That’s right! ! ILLEGAL is what they are! SO THE FAVORTISM & ENFORCE THE IMMIGRATION LAWS. THERE’S IS NO DIFFERENCE is sanctuary cities PERIOD! WE THE PEOPLE are coming for you! !

  3. The complete City Council discussion of creating a Welcoming City Task Force is posted here on YouTube:


  4. Good points, ma’am.

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