East Lansing City Council to vote on sanctuary city status

EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – East Lansing city leaders are expected to give a final vote on whether to classify the city as a sanctuary city.

Officials say the move would draw a stronger distinction to when local police can help federal agents enforcing immigration law.

East Lansing leaders have been reviewing this two-page resolution since Nov.

Back then, the city’s Human Rights Commission unanimously voted to send it to the city council for a wider vote.

In December, council members openly discussed the measure and heard from the public.

Several student leaders from Michigan State University and community advocates spoke in favor of the motion – citing the large immigrant population in the city.

A few people pushed back saying not enforcing federal immigration law enables illegal border crossing.

In the resolution, city leaders say East Lansing was declared a safe haven in 2017, stopping short of sanctuary city status. If passed, East Lansing police could not help federal agents in enforcing immigration law.

A community leader familiar with the status says collaboration between departments would only be allowed if a serious crime happened.

“It’s a community with a policy, sometimes written, sometimes unwritten, that discourages the local enforcement units from reporting immigration status to the federal authorities unless it involves investigations of a very serious crime,” said Oscar Castaneda of the Greater Lansing Civil Rights for Immigrants Task forces.

6 News did reach out to city officials for comment ahead of the meeting. Both the mayor’s office as well as the city council’s office say they’re going to wait to comment until after the vote.

East Lansing’s City Council meeting starts at 7 p.m. at the Hannah Community Center.

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