Bringing SanityBack & Sanctuary Cities | Tristan Shields

Bringing SanityBack & Sanctuary Cities

Ten years ago, JT brought SexyBack. This November, I’m going to bring SanityBack.

People in the center, those who have thoughtful opinions and concerns, have abandoned (for good reason) the political process. The majority of us are in an untenable place.  The polarized, accentuated positions by the far right and left leave us with no room to rationally debate serious policy issues.

Politics is the problem, not policy.  Politics is too conflict-laden. Meaningful conversations only seem to happen in hushed tones in backrooms.  I can’t tell you the number of times I have randomly been pulled aside (by store clerks, aerobic instructors, wait staff, etc.) who, upon seeing my Democrat pin,  whisper encouragement and agreement, often saying “I can’t talk about it in here, but thanks for running.”

There’s no way we can develop policy if we can’t be civil to each other.  We need to bring sanity back and engage Virginians in respectful, rational, well-intended conversations. Let’s put an end to catch-phrase politics. Let’s face it; all it does is allow politicians to hit the snooze button on the real issues.

Let’s talk immigration.

If you have worries about immigration, you have to choose a side.  You can either join the side labeled as racist or the side labeled as fools. What kind of choice is that? You don’t have to be racist to be for stricter immigration rules. You don’t have to be naive to support sanctuary cities. That being said, there are racists who hate immigrants and there are naive, bleeding heart liberals. But neither should hijack the full conversation needed to generate the best solutions for Virginia and our district.

Take for example sanctuary cities, the hot button catch-phrase that continues to polarize Virginia. It is characterized as an either-or solution – be ultra-compassionate or ISIS is coming to get you (watch Lt. Governor candidate Bryce Reeves latest video). So here is my liberal (no bleeding heart) reason for my position:

Police are not immigration officers. Police enforce our laws. Sanctuary cities empower police departments to do their job the way they see fit based on the community’s needs.  If an illegal immigrant is a “bad hombre” the police can involve ICE and deport him without alienating and terrorizing the rest of the immigrant community.  That being said, I am open to other solutions because this is a complex problem.

Immigrants are essential for our economy. Immigration is an issue in District 18. Approximately 7.5% of our legal residents were born outside of the US. Most come from Mexico or Central America.* We have a strong, important immigrant community here. BTW, my dad was born in Tegucigalpa, Honduras and had dual citizenship as a kid. His older brother, a rare book librarian for the Library of Congress, was born in Mexico and retired there.  I say this because immigration is more complicated than people crossing a border. Today we live in a global economy and District 18 reflects these connections especially being so close to the Washington, DC metro region.

District 18 needs no hushed backroom conversations. We need honest, productive talk.  Vote for me in November and I’ll work hard for you in the statehouse. With your help we can Bring SanityBack!

*Reference:  Overview of State House District 18, Virginia, Statistical Atlas

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