LETTER from ADRIAN KUZMINSKI
To the Editor:
In his letter to the editor of Nov. 12-13, county Rep. Rick Brockway, R-West Laurens, points out that the Village of Cooperstown was “made a sanctuary haven for illegal immigrants.” Indeed, the village, in April, 2017, voted unanimously, as reported in this newspaper, “not to participate in the Delegation of Immigration Authority’ under the Immigration & Nationality Act of 1996.”
Invoking the same idea from the opposite end of the political spectrum, Brockway has introduced a Second Amendment sanctuary proposal which would exempt Otsego County from the enforcement of certain New York State gun laws.
Two wrongs don’t make a right. The growing idea that local communities can opt out of recognizing and enforcing legitimate laws they don’t like simply by declaring themselves sanctuaries is reminiscent of the nullification movement in the Southern states before the Civil War. It’s a clear sign of a breakdown of law and government.
It doesn’t have to be that way. The civil rights movement also defied specific laws– those enforcing segregation – but it proceeded entirely legally. Unlike the sanctuary movement, it acknowledged the authority of the law by accepting arrest and going to court in the hope that judicial rulings based on precedent and reason would change the laws – as indeed they did.
The sanctuary movement on both sides represents muddled and dangerous thinking. It rejects the rule of law in favor of one or another partisan and sectarian impulse. It’s a recipe for anarchy which should not be tolerated. By voting down Brockway’s proposal, the Otsego County Board of Representatives has a rare opportunity to display some much needed political courage.