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What Happens to Sanctuary Cities and Campuses Under Trump?

Laura Weber Davis/WDET, Cheyna Roth/MPRN

Nate Kuehnl (top) and Eric Lacy (bottom)

Lately there has been a lot of debate about so-called sanctuary cities — city governments that refuse to turn over information about undocumented immigrants to federal authorities.

The city of Lansing is debating whether to become a so-called “sanctuary city” at risk of losing millions of dollars in federal funding. The proposal came from Mayor Virg Bernero after President Trump made it clear he would come down forcefully on illegal immigrants. 

This week Lansing’s city council held a public hearing on the subject of sanctuary status which drew a large crowd including armed Michigan Militia members and an HBO documentary crew.

Eric Lacy, reporter for the Lansing State Journal who spent several hours recording testimony at the public hearing, discussed that situation with host Stephen Henderson on Detroit Today

Lansing’s a welcoming city,” Lacy said. “It means at least as of right now in the city of Lansing, they are not going to have police become immigration officers. If they interact with somebody out in the community, if they pull them over or something like that, they’re not going to ask them about their immigration status… I think the city could be doing a better job to not only explain what they’re already doing, but to show it.”

Also joining Henderson is Nate Kuehnl, a student at Wayne State University pushing the university to become a “sanctuary” for students, and Christine Sauvee, senior program coordinator at the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center.

Kuehnl says WSU’s president has sent out a number of internal emails about WSU valuing diversity and inclusivity, but Kuehnl wants more action to be taken.

What we’re asking, and what most sanctuary proposals ask, actually doesn’t say to break federal law,” Kuehnl said. “What we’re asking is for non-cooperation with ICE unless ordered by subpoena.”  

Sauvee points out that ”sanctuary” has no legal definition, which further complicates the issue of adopting local or campus-wide designations.

Click on the audio player above to hear the full conversation. 

Image credit: City of Lansing

About the Author

Detroit Today

Dynamic and diverse voices. News, politics, community and the issues that define our region. Hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Stephen Henderson, Detroit Today brings you fresh and perceptive views weekdays at 9 am and 7 pm.

detroittoday@wdet.org  

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