Lawmakers Vote to Make Salem, Massachusetts, a Sanctuary City - NECN
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Lawmakers Vote to Make Salem, Massachusetts, a Sanctuary City

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    The Salem City Council voted to put in writing what's already in practice with a new ordinance to protect undocumented residents from being asked about their immigration status by police and city officials unless they're involved in a serious crime.

    (Published Thursday, April 13, 2017)

    Lawmakers in Salem, Massachusetts, voted Thursday to put in writing what's already in practice, making the city a sanctuary for undocumented immigrants.

    A new ordinance protects undocumented residents from being asked about their immigration status by police and city officials unless they're involved in a serious crime.

    "I think it's important that my neighbors understand that we love them here," said resident Sue Kirby. "That they have the support of the city and the police."

    After weeks of debate, Salem City Council voted 7 to 4 in favor of making the city what they call a "Sanctuary For Peace."

    "Illegal immigration is illegal," said resident Edward Plecinoga. "I'm against sanctuary cities."

    Opponents fear that the Trump administration will cut off federal funding to cities — $11 million, in Salem's case -- that adopt sanctuary city measures.

    "I hope that there's trust that their elected officials won't do anything that would jeopardize funding," said Mayor Kim Driscoll. "Or violate federal law or put our community in a worse position."

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