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Cape Cod "Sanctuary" Cities?

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Cape Cod "Sanctuary" Cities?

Post  Betep on Fri Feb 03, 2017 3:39 am

Selectmen Consider Declaring Provincetown a Sanctuary Community


PROVINCETOWN – Selectmen in Provincetown are considering declaring the town a sanctuary to protect undocumented immigrants.

At a recent Board of Selectmen’s meeting, School Committee Chair Anthony Brackett raised concerns expressed by recent immigrant students following the results of the Presidential Election.

Sanctuary cities protect undocumented immigrants by not prosecuting them solely for violating federal immigration laws.

Selectman Tom Donegan said Provincetown has a long history of welcoming others.

“We believe we have always benefited by new people coming into town and welcoming them,” Donegan said. “And we want to continue that tradition.”

Donegan said the town is looking to send the message that it is a welcoming place.

The board voted unanimously to hold further discussion on becoming a sanctuary town.

Donegan said he expects them to progress to be made early in the winter with a possible warrant article presented to town meeting voters in the spring.

“Resolutions out of town meeting are very popular and I think that would be something that would very likely be appropriate,” Donegan said.

Provincetown would join Orleans as sanctuary towns on Cape Cod.

By BRIAN MERCHANT, CapeCod.com NewsCenter
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Are you kidding me? Residents are being driven out by the high price of housing and you want to keep illegal aliens?

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Betep

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Re: Cape Cod "Sanctuary" Cities?

Post  Moldz on Fri Feb 03, 2017 3:56 am

MY VIEW

Several Cape towns considering sanctuary status

By L. Michael Hager

The election of President Donald J. Trump has generated fears among the Cape’s foreign-born residents. His campaign oratory and tweets raise concerns that undocumented immigrants, Muslims, and other minority groups could soon be singled out for harassment, registration and/or deportation.

In response, activists on the Lower Cape are gearing up to shield such minorities from enforcement actions by the ICE (U.S. Immigration, Customs and Enforcement) and possibly other federal agencies.

At informal “sanctuary city” meetings held at various locations in recent weeks, representatives from Brewster, Chatham, Dennis, Eastham, Orleans, Provincetown, Wellfleet, Yarmouth Port (and perhaps others) have met to discuss preparations for circulating citizen petitions for upcoming town meetings.

The sanctuary advocates want to prevent town officials from cooperating with ICE, “unless presented with a criminal warrant or other evidence of probable cause as required by the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution.”

Following the examples of Amherst, Holyoke and other Massachusetts communities that have adopted resolutions against potential racist, Islamophobic, anti-Semitic, homophobic, transphobic and anti-refugee actions, they also want their towns to commit to values of justice and equality, so that residents and visitors can be free from fear, harassment and violence.

So what are “sanctuary cities?” While there is no standard definition or uniform language for enactments of anti-immigrant policies that limit local official cooperation with federal authorities, the term 'sanctuary city' generally refers to localities that shield undocumented residents from deportation by refusing to cooperate fully with detention requests from ICE.

Sanctuary cities are nothing new. Some localities on the West Coast began enacting laws or ordinances to protect undocumented immigrants in the 1980s, with the arrival of Guatemalans and El Salvadorians fleeing civil unrest and torture.

According to the nonprofit, right-leaning Center for Immigration Studies, about 300 jurisdictions have policies that are “non-cooperative and obstruct immigration enforcement.” The Center, with the backing of Sen. Jeff Sessions and other Republican members of Congress, opposes sanctuary laws, claiming that they “remain a significant public safety problem” because they impose “unreasonable conditions on detainer, ICE’s primary document for gaining custody.'

Cape activists would respond that the proposed sanctuary laws do not bar local police and other town officials from cooperating with federal officials in arresting and detaining persons when the ICE presents a properly obtained arrest warrant. Under sanctuary laws, however, the local authorities would refuse to cooperate in “fishing expeditions” or the intimidation of suspected foreign-born residents. A New York Times article on Jan. 19 cites a New York attorney general opinion that “local agencies are not required to comply with a simple federal request to detain individuals unless there is a judicial warrant.”

Beyond the moral issue raised by nonwarrant invasions of citizen privacy, Cape towns generally lack adequate resources to enforce immigration law, which is a federal, not a local, responsibility. Furthermore, they want to encourage healthy community relations and not deter undocumented residents and visitors from assisting in crime prevention and from using emergency services.

While Cape Cod may have less ethnic diversity than large cities like Boston, its immigrant population is hardly marginal. According to a 2004 Boston Globe article, five percent of the Cape’s residents are foreignborn, including an estimated 17,000 Brazilians. Immigrant influx has most likely increased since then.

Town selectmen may worry that the new president will retaliate against sanctuary cities by cutting off needed federal funding or by prompting Congress to enact a law that mandates cooperation. Such risks, however, are mitigated by the fact that sanctuary city edicts are proliferating — creating for any one locality, safety in numbers.

If the proposed sanctuary warrants are adopted in the Cape’s upcoming town meetings, the affirming communities can take pride in their commitment to fairness and justice for their immigrant and other minority populations. —L. Michael Hager of Eastham is co-founder and former director general of the International Development Law Organization in Rome.
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