Springfield City Council Overrides Veto, Passes 'Sanctuary' Ordinance

Jan 15, 2019

After a legislative back-and-forth between the City Council and mayor in Springfield, Massachusetts, the city now has a so-called “sanctuary” ordinance on the books.

That’s after city councilors on Monday overrode Mayor Domenic Sarno’s veto of the “Welcoming Community Trust” ordinance.

The measure forbids officials from asking people about their immigration status, and prevents police from cooperating with federal immigration authorities in some cases.

“They come here for safety and support, and we should not be judging them based on our perception of why they’re here,” City Councilor Trayce Whitfield said of undocumented immigrants. “The majority of them are not criminals. They are folks that need help.”

After the City Council voted, Sokorey Abdi cheered along with a contingent from the Somali Bantu community.

“We all came together, we all made sure that all of our community… did what we had to do to get this veto [overridden],” Abdi said. “Because my community — the Somali Bantu community — has [been through] hard times.”

In a statement after the vote, Sarno pushed back against the City Council’s action.

“While I continue to stand in support of our taxpayers and legal immigrations [sic], unfortunately, our city council with the passage of their ‘Sanctuary City Ordinance,’ stand with supporting illegals on our taxpayer dollars,” Sarno said in a statement.