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L.A. Sanctuary Resolution

December 08, 1985

This is in response to your editorial (Nov. 29), "Trivializing a Human Issue."

To refer to any effort intended to save precious lives, whether a symbolic act or historic precedent, as trivial contributes to the apathy so prevalent in the country about what is happening in Central America.

The Sanctuary Movement, as well as the City Council's declaration of Los Angeles as a Sanctuary City, has as its primary objective to attempt to save life. At the same time, a clear message is sent to those charged with the fair administration of the law and national policy.

The church does not interfere in the political process of the country, but it has a moral responsibility to raise its voice in the face of injustice. The City Council is not attempting to interfere in the setting of immigration policy, but when so many of the people living within its jurisdiction are victims of prejudice and the violation of their human rights it (the City Council) had better not stand idly by and claim it has no responsibility.

We are all responsible for what happened in those horrible years of the Holocaust. We were all responsible for what our country did in Vietnam. We must all bear responsibility for what is now going on in Central America.

I take strong exception to the blanket characterization of the City Council proceedings as "shrill." I have never heard nor seen a more reasoned, dispassionate albeit deeply moving, witness as that given by our council persons in favor of the motion to designate Los Angeles a City of Sanctuary . The shrill voices were those of the opposition; the regional commissioner for the Immigration and Naturalization Service, a few of the public and ashamedly a couple of our councilmen. Even one of the councilmen opposing the motion publicly disavowed that testimony.

Even if the City Council were the proverbial "voice of one crying in the wilderness," if it moves us all one step closer to a more just and peaceful world it is worth every minute of the city's "precious time."


Los Angeles

Father Olivares is pastor of Our Lady Queen of Angels (Old Plaza Church).

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