In the United States and Canada, a sanctuary city is a municipality that has adopted a policy of protecting unauthorized immigrants by not prosecuting them for violating federal immigration laws and by ensuring that all residents have access to city services, regardless of immigration status.
On Sunday a very important program sponsored by Hartford City Councilwoman Wildaliz Bermudez and Ct. Students for a Dream will be held at St. Peters Church from 1-3. The program entitled What Is A Sanctuary City? Towards A Sanctuary City is free and open to the public. A little blurb about this event:
Hartford City Councilwoman Wildaliz Bermudez and CT Students for a Dream are partnering to organize community conversations on what it means to be a sanctuary city and how we can support each other during times of crisis. This event is open to everyone who is interested in learning more about their rights as residents and how we can work together to make every family feel safe in our community. See our postings for details. We thank the councilwoman and the Ct.Students for a Dream for sponsoring this event.
When reading up on Sanctuary cities as there has been questions lately on how does ICE get peoples names? How do they find folks? What can we do to help stop this? we came across this article an op-ed piece from the New York Times that makes sense. We hope that in Hartford our police force has adopted these safe guards for the immigrant communities.
From the article Sanctuary Cities In Name Only written by Shakeer Rahman and Robin Steinberg op-ed contributors and published on 2/15 we learn this:
“President Trump’s plan to deport millions of people appears to be underway. Last week, federal immigration officials arrested more than 600 people at their homes and workplaces in at least 11 states, sending terror through immigrant communities.
The abruptness of the raids provoked criticism from local officials, including Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York, who vowed to “stand with” immigrant communities. But mass deportation under President Trump will also happen through a more routine policy that is in the mayor’s control: endless, unnecessary arrests for low-level offenses, which end up feeding immigrants into the federal government’s deportation machine.”
and continues to say:
“It’s not enough for cities like New York to declare themselves “sanctuaries,” which simply means that the local police won’t detain noncitizens on the federal government’s behalf. If cities really want to protect immigrants, they must also end the quota-driven style of policing that makes immigrants the victims of unnecessary arrests and disproportionate punishment.”
from the article
“Undocumented immigrants are not the only ones at risk. Any noncitizen can be thrown out of the country for minor offenses like simple marijuana possession or any “crime involving moral turpitude,” a broad term that covers everything from jumping a subway turnstile to selling counterfeit T-shirts.”
So we got a big problem here. We will then ask, How can we make our Sanctuary City stronger? How can we make sure that our police force is not turning over any information to the Feds? How can we stop unnecessary arrests for low-level offenses? What if any information for minor offenses is Hartford Police sending into the Feds?
and ending in a very important way:
“President Trump’s plans to deport millions of immigrants can’t happen without boots on the ground. Until cities reject the failed thinking that led to mass incarceration, local police and prosecutors will be doing the legwork for mass deportation.”
What does Hartford’s ordinance say on this matter:
(a) Hartford police officers shall not inquire about a person’s immigration status unless such an inquiry is necessary to an investigation involving criminal activity as defined in section 2-926 above.
(b) Hartford police shall not inquire about the immigration status of crime victims, witnesses, or others who call, approach or are interviewed the Hartford Police Department.
(c) The Hartford Police will not arrest or detain a person based solely on their immigration status unless there is a criminal warrant.
(d) Hartford police officers shall not make arrests or detain individuals based on administrative warrants for removal entered by ICE into the National Crime Information Center database.
(e) The Hartford Police Department shall conduct necessary training and education to ensure that its officers are knowledgeable about provisions set forth in this article.
(f) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit any Hartford police officer from cooperating with federal immigration authorities as required by law.
(Ord. No. 20-08, 8-11-08)
For more on this and to read the ordinance go to HERE