City Council approves fortifying immigrant-friendly status | KOB 4

City Council approves fortifying immigrant-friendly status

Brittany Costello and Caleb James
April 16, 2018 10:15 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Albuquerque city councilors voted to strengthen the city's immigrant-friendly status at their meeting Monday , despite threats from Washington to withhold federal funding.


The legislation, months in the making, passed by a 6-3 vote. It aims to eliminate fear and promote inclusion in the Duke City community. Albuquerque has held immigrant-friendly status since 2000, but the new policy reaffirms expectations when it comes to immigration and undocumented enforcement.

The legislation limits the information collected regarding citizenship or immigration status. Albuquerque would also not use any city resources – including money or equipment – to assist in the enforcement of federal immigration law.

The bill also requires the city to refuse access to all city-operated areas, including the prisoner transport center, to federal immigration agents unless presented with a warrant.

Council amends and approves R-18-7; strengthening Albuquerque’s status as an Immigrant Friendly City

— Albuquerque City Council (@ABQCityCouncil) April 17, 2018

#BREAKING: #ABQ council votes 6 to 3 to strengthen city's #sanctuarycity status to applause. @KOB4

— Caleb James (@CalebJamesKOB) April 17, 2018

Councilor Pat Davis said the resolution does not cripple federal agents from doing their jobs. It just does not offer help on the front end. If there's a warrant, local agencies will still enforce it but they won't help them get one.

"As we've seen, the old administration still invited ICE into our prisoner transport center," Davis said before the meeting. "We're still willing to participate. So with this, we intend to make it very clear."

By applause and public comment, it appeared the majority of turnout favored of strengthening that sanctuary city status, but there was certainly opposition. Here is some of what was said:

"The price to pay for passing a resolution that tells law enforcement to look the other way is not what this city and our state needs to help law enforcement fight the battle that they are to try to keep us safe," one person commented.

"This resolution does not violate federal law. If AG [Jeff] Sessions or another member of the Trump Department of Justice targets this city for adverse consequences based on this resolution, many lawyers in New Mexico would be willing to meet them in federal court," remarked Jeremy Ferris, an attorney with a local firm which deals mostly in federal cases, asserting his opinion about the legality of the move by council.


Brittany Costello and Caleb James

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