In 1986, Oakland explicitly established itself as a sanctuary city for immigrants seeking sanctuary from ongoing conflicts in Guatemala, El Salvador, Haiti, South Africa and other areas.
As in many cases, what began as a good natured idea has been abused. Now, anyone who can somehow make it to our city, is allowed to stay with no questions asked. As a result, Oakland has become a magnet for illegal immigrants.
Oakland has suffered overcrowded schools, language barriers that inhibit education and business, gang violence, crowded emergency rooms, multiple families living in single family dwellings. Additionally, employers take advantage of illegal immigrants by hiring them at substantially lower rates than their citizen counterparts with many being paid under the table and thus avoiding taxes. This has led to a loss of traditional blue collar construction, auto body and repair, restaurant, housekeeping and a wide variety of other jobs that our citizens once did. Over time, the unemployed citizens have left the city and taken their revenue with them.
Oakland is strapped for cash, strapped for police officers, public schools are overcrowded and are being shut down, etc. If we want to attract blue collar citizens, and people who work in SF and SJ back to Oakland (who would love to live in a centrally located city), It's time to rescind Oakland's "Sanctuary City" policy. At one time it may have made some sense, but it's no longer is applicable, and ultimately has helped to create more problems for Oakland than it has solved. We need to focus on attracting citizens back to Oakland.