WHEREAS, the City of El Paso is proud of its long and distinguished tradition of protecting the civil fights and liberties of its residents; and
WHEREAS, the preservation of civil rights and liberties is essential to the wellbeing of a democratic society; and
WHEREAS, federal, state and local governments should protect the public from terrorist attacks such as those that occurred on September 11,2001, but should do so in a rational and deliberative fashion to ensure that any new security measure enhances public safety without impairing constitutional rights or infringing on civil liberties; and
WHEREAS, government security measures that undermine fundamental rights do damage to the American institutions and values that the residents of the City of El Paso hold dear; and
WHEREAS, the City Council of the City of El Paso believes that there is no inherent conflict between national security and the preservation of liberty, Americans can be both safe and free; and
WHEREAS, federal policies adopted since September 11.2001 including provisions in the USA PATRIOT ACT (Public Law 107-56) and related executive orders, regulations and actions can be enforced in such a manner as to threaten fundamental rights and liberties; and
WHEREAS, new legislation has been drafted by the current federal Administration entitled the Domestic Security Enhancement Act (DSEA), also known as PATRIOT II, which contains new law enforcement and intelligence gathering powers, many of which are not related to terrorism, that could dilute many basic constitutional rights, as well as disturb our country’s unique system of checks and balance;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF EL PASO:
That the City of El Paso AFFIRMS its strong support for fundamental constitutional rights and its opposition to federal measures that infringe on civil liberties.
ADOPTED this 27th day of April, 2004.
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