Given the threat to immigrant communities posed by the new federal regime, many cities and counties are reaffirming or considering new policies that welcome immigrants and push back against deportations and other anti-immigrant policies.
What can welcoming policies do?
Local governments can take several steps to protect immigrants.
Limit collection of information about immigration status, and limit sharing of personal information
Limit cooperation with ICE requests and operations
Provide outreach, information, legal support, and other services for immigrants
Local welcoming policies cannot provide lawful immigration status to the undocumented—only the federal government can do so under federal law.
Why are welcoming policies important?
Cities and counties should enact these policies to respect the contributions that immigrants make to the entire community, through our work, our cultural and social contributions, and our civic leadership. These localities should also see how immigrant families, and in particularly children, face disruption and separation due to the loss of family members to deportation. Immigration enforcement also takes a toll on businesses and industries that rely on immigrant workers.
Localities should also see the need to strengthen relationships between law enforcement and immigrant communities. If immigrants are reluctant to call local police for fear of having their status discovered and being turned over the ICE, crimes go unreported, and perpetrators go unpunished. Law enforcement agencies should recognize the need to build trusting relationships with immigrant communities to enhance the entire population’s public safety.
For more information, including model legislative language, please contact Fred Tsao at ICIRR, 312-332-7360 x213 or firstname.lastname@example.org.