The chief of police in an upscale northern California town has issued a letter in Spanish to illegal immigrants in his city assuring them that they’re safe from deportation because his agency “will not engage in federal immigration enforcement activities.” Police in Windsor, which is situated about 60 miles north of San Francisco, will not arrest or detain any person for immigration violations or conduct “sweeps” to locate those “illegally present in the United States,” the letter states.
Windsor’s police chief, Carlos G. Basurto, reveals in the letter that he is the grandson of illegal immigrants and knows that an overwhelmingly large percentage of illegal aliens are good, decent and hard-working.
“I am committed to provide them and all other segments of our community with a safe and healthy community for all to enjoy and prosper and to have a feeling of equality,” the chief writes to illegal aliens in his municipality of about 28,000 residents. Basurto concedes that in his 28 years in law enforcement he’s seen illegal immigrants who are violent gang members, drug dealers, murderers, rapists, human traffickers and child abusers. “To think that this does not exist and that all immigrants are good people, is to be either naïve, uninformed or in denial,” the chief writes, confirming that “there is a segment committed to violence, drugs and domestic terrorism.”
With that said, the top law enforcement official in this California town vows to protect illegal aliens from federal authorities, even those with minor offenses. “Our community involves and includes everyone,” Chief Basurto writes. “I don’t want anyone, and I emphasize anyone, to be afraid to call upon us for assistance, information, advice or to report any crime or issue in our town.” The reassurances continue; “If you are an undocumented immigrant in the Town of Windsor, you do not need to fear the officers of the Windsor Police Department nor assume that they have any reason to bother you, detain you or arrest you for simply being undocumented. Your immigration status is completely irrelevant to us.” He adds that his agency collaborates with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to apprehend “serious or violent criminals” under the condition that ICE refrain from arresting any person based immigration status or low-level offenses.
Deep in the three-page letter the chief acknowledges that illegal entry to the United States is against the law, but his personal convictions evidently allow him to look the other way. His grandparents came from Mexico and worked in the fields and ranches of California and when he was in junior high he and his brother worked in the prune fields to earn money for school clothes. This taught Basurto to appreciate immigrant workers. “We also knew that most, if not all of these people, emigrated here from other countries to do this work, for little pay, in hopes of making a better life for themselves and their families,” the chief writes. “In essence, I can relate to these people, because like many of us in this town, we are these people.”
Guaranteeing illegal aliens that they’ll be shielded from federal authorities technically constitutes a sanctuary city, but Windsor officials say this could bring consequences under the new administration so they’re keeping it quiet. A local Spanish newspaper article reports that town manager Linda Kelly, a seasoned government official, has recommended that Windsor keep its sanctuary practices under the radar because President Donald Trump has threatened to cut federal funds to sanctuary cities. Instead, Windsor will adopt a resolution that omits the word sanctuary, instead declaring the town to be a united community that values diversity and the contributions of all residents.