ICE, ICE, Baby! Michigan GOP Ready to Erase 'Sanctuary City' Concept
More than 200 cities and counties in the U.S. have a policy of not cooperating with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, according to the Center for Immigration Studies.
Some of those communities have an unwritten “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy when it comes to illegal immigrants in their towns. Others have a written policy or ordinance instructing police not to ask residents about their citizenship.
Detroit falls into the category of communities with an official policy because of an ordinance enacted by the city council in 2007, telling police to stop asking questions about whether residents are American citizens.
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said he doesn’t like Sen. Mike Kowall’s proposal, and does not want to have his city police officers asking residents for their green cards.
“I can’t believe that anybody would find this (Detroit’s) policy objectionable,” Duggan said. “It’s sound policy. You don’t profile your citizens and you don’t want victims and witnesses to be afraid to come forward.”
Detroit police officers are permitted to ask about a suspect’s immigration status after an arrest.
Susan Reed, the supervising attorney for the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center, told the Detroit Free Press the Detroit ordinance should be a model for other communities.
“You do not want to be perceived as the deportation cops if you have immigrants in your community who you want to call you, contact you, call you when you're trying to do your policing," Reed said.
In the community known as being Michigan’s most liberal, Ann Arbor City Council members made it clear in 2003 they didn’t want city police doing anything to help federal immigration agents arrest illegal aliens.
Ann Arbor Police officers are trained to ask a person’s immigration status only in “cases of legitimate public safety concern.”
City Council member Sabra Briere told the West Michigan Politics blog she supports that policy.
”If you are asked to prove that you are legally here, you wouldn't like being here.”