As the Trump administration continues to pursue stricter immigration policies, Sanctuary City status has become an increasingly controversial topic, fueling arguments within families, debates between friends and revealing deepening divisions in our country. One is tempted to ask: Are the tired, poor and huddled masses still welcome here?

Locally, the Eureka City Council and Humboldt County Board of Supervisors have both recently discussed immigration issues and this week the Arcata City Council was scheduled to decide if it should pursue Sanctuary City status.

At KHUM In Depth, we plan to try to understand this issue from a number of different points of view and in two parts. 

In Part One, we focus on “Sanctuary Cities” and “Sanctuary States,” which are jurisdictions that limit in some way their cooperation with federal authorities in the enforcement of U.S. immigration law. Is this a good idea or not? Are most undocumented locals here just to work? What do local police think about Sanctuary status? Is public safety a concern?  Are all undocumented immigrants protected? What about those who commit crimes? Can the federal government punish a locale for invoking Sanctuary status? What is ICE’s relationship to local police? What if California becomes a Sanctuary State? 

These are just some of the questions we pose in this edition of KHUM In Depth. We hear from U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Gov. Jerry Brown, two California state senators, ICE, Eureka Police Chief Andy Mills, Eureka City Councilman Austin Allison and a local legal immigrant opposed to the Sanctuary idea. 

KHUM In Depth: Sanctuary Cities hosted by Chuck Rogers and Lyndsey Battle and Saturday, May 20 at noon and Sunday, May 21 at 5 p.m. Download the podcast in iTunes and hear it in the player below:  

(AUDIO) KHUM In-Depth: Sanctuary Cities

And that’s just the beginning. Part Two will air in June and will focus on discussions with local undocumented immigrants and try to see this issue through their eyes. What does the future look like to them? How do they see their lives here right now? They hear the arguments about jobs and crime, but what do they think about it all? Does Sanctuary status ease their minds or not? Are their lives in such flux these days that they can’t look much beyond tonight or tomorrow? We’ll ask. Please join us. 

This program is generously sponsored by Mr. Fish. Intro and outro music courtesy Scuber Mountain.