Both sides of the political spectrum use the phrase a lot: This* does NOT represent our "values" or "Our American values" or "Our shared American values." * -- fill in the crisis, situation or behavior of your choice.

So just what are our shared values? In this hyper-partisan America, do we even share a belief in anything with "the other side"? Name two.

Heck, we can't even agree if America is now or was ever "GREAT!"

That's the backdrop against which the Yakima debate about ICE deportation flights will take place at the next City Council meeting on July 16.

Back in early May, after King County Executive Dow Constantine shut down ICE operations at Boeing Field in Seattle, the Yakima airport started landing planes with illegal immigrant detainees who were eventually headed by bus to a Tacoma detention center. Other planes picked up prisoners and left for deportation locations in Texas and Mexico.

A article in the May 9 Seattle Times said "ICE is not publicly answering questions about its intentions beyond a vague statement ... however, (she) released another statement criticizing “policy makers who strive to make it more difficult to remove dangerous criminal aliens.” The statement cited 10 examples since 2014 of people suspected or convicted of criminal charges, including rape and murder, recently deported from Washington state.  An agent told the city manager those being deported had lost asylum cases, and after arriving in El Paso would either be flown to Mexico City, or walked across the border to Juarez, depending on where in Mexico they were from."

With recent council history as our guide, City Council observers and local talk show commentators (us) soon began to speculate on just how long it would be before the Yakima council would attempt to take steps similar to Seattle's.

The council soon called for a vote on an ICE flight discussion in May, but surprisingly that proposal failed. Down but not out, the idea is back, resurfacing at Tuesday's (July 2) council meeting, (see at 34:14 into the recording). A couple of women from Ellensburg urged the city to follow Seattle's lead and concluded their request with the ladies suggesting a shopping boycott of Yakima could follow.

With that, the council voted to hold a conversation about the ICE Flights at the July 16 meeting (see at 57:53 into the video)

Councilwoman Dulce Guiterrez framed it as being important to see who stands with the immigrant community and who does not.

Councilman Brad Hill asked what the purpose of the conversation would be and whether the council would be considering flouting established federal immigration policy. He wondered aloud what good that might do the city of 93,000 residents.

Another question that needs an answer is - How would denying ICE flights affect the airport's relationship with the feds and specifically how would it affect federal grant money?  We have calls out looking to get those answers.

So what do you think?  Is there something wrong with ICE contractors using the airport for the purpose of deportation of criminal aliens and those who lost asylum cases?  Does that violate your values or "our shared values?" Do you think the City Council represents your values?

Tell us what you think:

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