Sanctuary city vote in Lansing pushed back

LANSING, MI (WLNS) – One of the many topics President Donald Trump addressed Tuesday night in his first address to a joint session was our nation’s immigration and refugee policies.

The subject was brought to the forefront after President Trump signed an executive order, which in part suspended refugees from seven Muslim dominant nations from entering the United States.

Even though the order has since been halted in federal court, many local municipalities have signed resolutions in response to that order, which now includes Ingham County.

During its meeting Tuesday night, the Ingham County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution to reaffirm Ingham County as a welcoming community.

“Ingham County is a welcoming community and a place where all persons, regardless of citizenship status, national origin, ethnicity, or religion, can live and work together,” Board Chair Sarah Anthony said. “We share in each other’s customs and ideals, and we promote cultural diversity.”

When it comes to the city of Lansing, council members say they’re working to draft a resolution that works for everyone.

For the past couple of weeks, dozens of people have been showing up to Lansing City Council meetings for their chance to speak out about making Lansing a sanctuary city.

“You have the opportunity to take a stand at this critical moment through non-cooperation with dehumanizing minorities, non-cooperation with breaking apart their families,” one man said during public comment.

Whether the topic is on the agenda or not, nearly every seat is filled with residents pushing for the council to take action.

“We are not in a position to designate ourselves a sanctuary city,” Lansing City Council President, Patricia Spitzley said.

So far, a number of drafts have been written, including the most recent one, drafted in mid-February.

“We included statements and commitments from the mayor and city council,” Spitzley said. “It is an affirmation of our welcoming city status and we do not designate ourselves a sanctuary city.”

However, some members of the public say that designation is needed.

Lansing has already deemed itself a welcoming city. The council is holding off on taking any further action while some logistics are being worked out.

“I am not going to bring forth a resolution where there are still questions or that our city attorney still has concerns,” Spitzley said. “That doesn’t do anybody any good.”

Just across the street in East Lansing, council members unanimously passed a resolution, refusing to cooperate with President Trump’s executive order. It goes on to say the city will continue to be a safe haven for immigrants and refugees.

In Lansing, councilwoman Patricia Spitzley said the issue will be addressed.

“It will come back, we are not burying it, we are not,” she said. “It won’t be kicked down the road for months and months.”

She said the council will revisit the resolution again in just a few weeks.


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