Either enforce the law or change it


Rule of law is important

Over the last few weeks, two things that appear to have nothing in common struck a chord with me for the same reason.
First, the Page City Council had a public hearing and made a decision on a controversial lighting ordinance.
A few days later, Pres. Donald Trump announced he was ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in six months unless Congress acts first.
You see, they appear to have nothing in common, but from my view they are clearly linked.
First, let’s look at the city council. Of all the things council did while discussing the lighting ordinance, the one that stuck out to me is when they said it was time to start enforcing the current ordinance.
Now, I have little idea what the current ordinance says and certainly had no clue it wasn’t being enforced. But I happen to agree with council. If the city has a law on the books, one of two things should happen. No. 1, it needs to be enforced, or, No. 2, it needs to be changed or removed. Laws that are not enforced send a bad message to society. If we have laws on the books, they need to be enforced or removed.
That brings us to Trump’s decision. Whether you support DACA or not, the reality is we have immigration laws on the books in our country. Those laws say if you are in our country illegally, you will be arrested and deported. Pres. Barack Obama didn’t agree with that law, so he decided to ignore it and used the power of his office to make it the policy of the country to simply ignore it.
But Obama never changed the law. The law still says if you are in this country illegally, you are to be deported. And since that is the law, I think it should be enforced. If Congress does not want Dreamers to be deported, they should change the law. It’s a pretty simple process.
If Congress does not act, Trump is 100 percent right in saying those in our country illegally must be sent home.
Rule of law must mean something. Right now, the law in our country is clear. A president not liking a law does not change the law. Laws are made by an action of Congress and then signed into law by the president. Unless Congress acts, Trump is right to end DACA and begin deporting Dreamers.
It may not be fair, it may not be right, but it is the law and the law has to mean something. That line of thinking is not heartless, racist or unfair.
It is proper. Trump gave Congress time to act if the members don’t like the law. Now it’s time to see if they will.
In Page, the city council asked staff to begin enforcing the current code. That is also the right move, even if it means a code enforcement officer knocks on my door and tells me my light is in violation.
Certainly not everyone agrees on immigration law or the city’s lighting ordinance, but having laws that mean something and are enforced is something our society should be able to agree on.

More In Opinion