Under Pressure, Lansing Decides Not To Be A Sanctuary City

LANSING (WWJ) The city of Lansing rescinded its decision to deem itself a sanctuary city amid pressure from business groups over the contentious term.

City Council voted 5-2 Wednesday night to overturn last week’s unanimous vote to call itself a sanctuary for immigrants.

The turnaround follows pressure from the Chamber of Commerce. Lansing is among the first to step back from the term, which has no legal definition and varies in application.

Dozens of cities have declared themselves sanctuary cities that will protect immigrants. They are sparring with President Donald Trump’s administration over their decision not to allow cooperation between their police departments and U.S. immigration authorities for sudden deportations.

This Lansing resident told the City Council why she opposed the Sanctuary City designation.

“What are you planning on doing when it’s a felony and they committed crimes,’ the resident said. “Can we walk the streets after we commit a crime? I get pulled over and if I don’t pay a ticket, I’m going to jail.”

Council member Kathie Dunbar supported the sanctuary city designation, per Mlive.

“It’s a darn shame that after appearing to have a backbone and actually taken a stand on something that really matters, folks have decided to throw it away,” Dunbar said. “And the message that sends to folks is really sad.”

Some business owners and residents were concerned the term would draw unwanted attention to Lansing from President Donald Trump’s administration and cost the city federal funding.

“Trump is going to know exactly what you’re doing,” said Rose Atkins, according to Mlive. “If you come in here, come in the right way.”

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