For every $10 it receives, anti-immigrant group Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS) has promised to send blindfolds to elected officials in a so-called ‘sanctuary’ jurisdiction. Apparently, its something to do with helping shield these officials’ eyes from the ‘havoc’ that strong relationships between the police and the community wreak.
“We just launched our provocative blindfold campaign to draw attention to that fact that 340 jurisdictions actively decide not to cooperate with immigration enforcement,” a CAPS fundraising email this week reads. “For every $10 raised, we will send these sanctuary city officials a blindfold, to help them look away from the injustices they tolerate.”
The prop-based stunt is not CAPS’ first. In 2013, while comprehensive immigration reform legislation was being considered by Congress, the group told supporters that it would send eyeglasses to members of Congress. More recently, CAPS has also ran ads during presidential candidate debates deriding children of immigrants as “anchor babies.”
Both the organized anti-immigrant movement and its allies in Congress have sought to eliminate so-called sanctuary policies throughout the latter half of this year. Rather than encourage law enforcement officials to foster relationships immigrant communities, nativist lawmakers have introduced legislation to prevent sanctuary jurisdictions from receiving federal funds. Activists such as Maria Espinoza of The Remembrance Project held cynical, opportunistic press events.
The debate over sanctuary cities came to the forefront after the tragic shooting of Kate Steinle in San Francisco this summer. Fortunately, in November, voters in The City by the Bay reaffirmed their support of such policies and rejected the anti-sanctuary rhetoric espoused by anti-immigrant activists and right-wing media. They elected a sheriff, Vicki Hennesy, who recognizes the value and importance of sanctuary policies for improving public safety for communities at-large.
As Hennesy declared on her campaign website, “I remain steadfast in working with the immigrant rights community to implement policies that protect the rights of immigrants consistent with the San Francisco’s Sanctuary Ordinances and public safety concerns.”