I would like to propose Apalachicola as a sanctuary city. Although our city has no undocumented immigrants, it would be worthwhile to make a statement to the nation.

I understand many in this city voted for President Trump and possibly some believe in the alt-right movement; thus, they would reject safety for undocumented people.

Nevertheless, I will make my case, based on moral responsibility and accountability.

First, after the US deposed the democratically-elected Guatemalan President Jacobo Árbenz and installed the military dictatorship of Carlos Castillo Armas, a civil war raged that is some ways continues to this day. Consequences were the social destruction of most of the country, i.e. killing and raping, particularly the indigenous Mayan peoples. The undocumented Guatemalans in this country are mostly Mayan.

Second, Honduran President José Manuel Zelaya was deposed in 2009 by a US-backed coup. The resulting kleptocracy, along with drug cartels, destabilized Honduran society, causing many to flee to the US, especially women and children.

Third, when NAFTA was enacted in 1994, massive quantities of imported US corn drove millions of subsistence farmers out of business. Fleeing from starvation, they emigrated to the US. That economic disaster is still in force, and along with a corrupt government, drug cartels, and the US-backed War On Drugs, has forced many Mexicans to emigrate.

I despise the self-righteous who describe our Mesoamerican immigrants as “seeking a better life,” unless by ‘better’ they mean a life where they don’t get beaten, stolen from, raped, or die. We Americans caused the suffering that forced these people to flee; we are directly responsible. Rather than lock them up and send them away, we should feed them, house them, give them work, and beg them for forgiveness. The least we can do is offer them sanctuary.

Ted Tripp