Las Vegas Sun

June 17, 2019

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Guest Column:

Mayor: Las Vegas is open, inclusive

Click to enlarge photo

Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman speaks during an editorial board meeting at the Las Vegas Sun in Henderson on Thursday, October 10, 2013.

Stephen Cloobeck’s guest column “Mayor must remember immigrants’ vital role in city” (Las Vegas Sun, Feb. 7) is a sad attempt to mischaracterize my statements and at the same time get a list of his kudos published as he considers a run for political office.

The entire tweet I wrote about sanctuary cities is, “The city of Las Vegas is not a sanctuary city & we’re compliant with federal regulations. I’m passionate about finding a pathway to citizenship.” Note that Cloobeck conveniently left my comments about a pathway to citizenship on the cutting-room floor. Ironic since he advocates the same idea in his column when he states, “I support an effective immigration policy that provides a legal path to American citizenship.”

Immigration and sanctuary city status are complex and emotional issues, but picking apart 140-character tweets for political gain does not add to the discussion.

Following my original tweet, I posted an in-depth explanation of where the city is on this issue. If Cloobeck had bothered to read that, he would have seen that when I say Las Vegas is not a sanctuary city it is simply a fact.

The Las Vegas City Council has not passed an ordinance or a resolution to become a sanctuary city. Additionally, the city complies with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) program 287(g), which requires notification of ICE if undocumented immigrants who have committed a crime are booked into the Las Vegas Detention Center. The city’s Public Safety Department has always complied with this notification process and continues to do so after the new executive order was issued. This does not mean that the deputy city marshals arrest people simply for being undocumented. City marshals enforce the law at city parks and facilities but do not make arrests or detain individuals based on their immigration status. If someone is arrested for a crime and through the booking process is found to be an undocumented immigrant, the Public Safety Department notifies ICE as required by federal law.

I strongly believe the solution to our immigration issues is to find a pathway to citizenship for those in our country who came here for the same reasons many of our ancestors did: to create a better life for themselves and their families. That is the American dream, and it should be open to all willing to come to our country, our state, our city to build a community.

We remain committed to fostering, cultivating and preserving a culture of diversity and inclusion. At the June 15, 2016, City Council meeting, the council reaffirmed our commitment to being an inclusive and open community by approving a diversity resolution. For the past two years, we have been recognized by the Human Rights Campaign for receiving a perfect 100-point ranking on being open and inclusive. We embrace and encourage employees from all backgrounds and expect our employees to follow our open policy, embracing differences and respecting people from all backgrounds regardless of skin color, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political party, etc.

Full inclusion, compassion, equality and respect are fundamental components to a livable, humanitarian society, and we in Las Vegas would have it no other way.

Carolyn Goodman has been the mayor of Las Vegas since 2011.