The heat is on many melting pot cities in the United States to deem themselves a “Sanctuary City” to immigrants seeking asylum. The closest to home for many Connecticut citizens is right in the heart of the state - New Haven. Small yet diverse, New Haven has always prided itself in its “global views” in terms of culture, population and social justice.

See Wikipedia’s definition of a "Sanctuary City". Essentially, a Sanctuary City shelters immigrants, prohibits city employees (including police officers and schools) from asking citizens their immigration status and prohibits threatening them and also from detaining “illegal immigrants” within city borders. Pros/Cons and Origins of Sanctuary cities found here.

In the article written by Christopher Peak of the New Haven Independent, Mayor Toni Harp, voices her opinion on the subject. She has always seemed to be a strong advocate of policy on immigrant aid and most certainly, an opponent to President’s Trump policy. Although not an official law as of yet, she is asking that New Haven adopt the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” type of policy.

But New Haven says it isn’t enough to  just support immigrants; it is time for legal action. “New Haven, CT  is a sanctuary city in culture, in enforcement, but not in written law.” said one volunteer. They want laws enforced that make immigrant citizens feel safe from persecution in the Elm City. Professor Michael Wishnie of Yale Law School says:

“Mayor Harp, thank you for the courage and leadership of the executive order that you’ve just announced,” he added. “Board of Alders, it’s over to you. It’s time to codify this law so that it cannot be changed by the stroke of a pen by a new police chief or new mayor when that time comes. It’s time to make this the law of our city.”

Citizens not in favor of this ordinance are also voicing their opinions, such as these of citizen Justin Higgins “Shouldn’t the taxpayers of Connecticut be the ones to decide on a City’s sanctuary status? Considering that the city would be bankrupt WITHOUT taxpayers subsidies, it only seems fair. ” Mr. Higgins is not the only citizen to feel this way. Connecticut taxpayers are already feeling the crunch of increasing mill rates and property taxes and they worry that adding the formal title of “Sanctuary City” would only add to those tax increases. For a list of States and cities in the United States that offer Sanctuary City Asylum, see Here.

What are you thoughts and opinions as a Connecticut taxpayer and citizen on the Sanctuary City topic? Talk to your local newspapers, write to the politicians, become active in your community to voice your opinions. 

Svendsen Agency provides insurance services  to all of Connecticut. 

New Haven, Hartford, Litchfield, Fairfield, Middlesex, Windham New London and Tolland county

(203)397-3993

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