Monday, February 11, 2008

City Councilor Sam Yoon: A Profile in Courage

Boston City Councilor Sam "Speak Truth To Power!" Yoon refused to join us on the air Friday and discuss his resolution in support of the "Welcoming Massachusetts Pledge." Does he really believe, as the pledge states, that illegal immigrants have the "civil and human right" to come to America and live on the taxpayer's dime here in Boston?

He wouldn't say. Said discussing the topic at all would be "destructive." To what--the perception that Sam Yoon knows what the heck he's talking about?


Well, several 96.9 WTKK listeners called and emailed his office regarding his "illegal immigrants = MLK" resolution, and here's the answer they received:

From: "Yoon, Sam"

Dear Sir or Madam,

First, thanks for taking the time to reach out about your concerns.

Councilor Yoon welcomes your input on policy. The immigration system is broken and out of date. It is clear that we have to get the system under control. Councilor Yoon feels it is important to ensure that illegal immigrants register for legal status, pay taxes, learn English, and pass criminal background checks if they want to stay in the country.

Councilor Yoon is committed to finding solutions to the problems facing our city. That is his job as a city councilor. Finding solutions begins by having a serious, reasonable discussion.

The resolution passed unanimously by the city council and signed by the mayor commits your government to having a serious discussion about the serious problem of immigration. Nothing more and nothing less.

Please feel free to take a look at the resolution.



Jacob Baker
Office of Sam Yoon, City Councilor At-Large
Boston City Hall, 5th Floor
Boston, MA 02201

Now, what's the first thing you notice about Sam Yoon's reply to his constituents? It's NOT from Sam Yoon! Even when he's sending out a "Dear Sir or Madam" reply, he still refuses to speak. It's from some guy named Jacob Baker. Why--so if there's too much heat, Yoon can throw him under the bus?

Secondly, Jacob is right that the email doesn't commit the city council to do anything. It's just p.c. puffery. But that doesn't change the fact that the pledge specifically declares the enforcement of immigration laws a violation of "civil and human rights."

So we're back to the beginning: What does Sam Yoon believe? What does the City Council think? Do they even understand the principles explicitly stated in the Welcoming Massachusetts Pledge they have endorsed?

Until they start answering their own email, we may never know...