EAST LANSING, Mich. (Michigan News Source) – During the Trump presidency in February of 2017, the East Lansing City Council passed a resolution that they would be a safe haven for illegal aliens. It was a defiant stand against Trump’s Executive Order that suspended illegal aliens from seven Muslim-majority countries from being allowed into the United Sates.
In a 5-0 vote, the city decided they would “continue to be a safe haven for those immigrants and refugees yearning to be free and provide sanctuary to those persons.” Their resolution was called “Resolution Affirming the City of East Lansing’s Commitment to the Preservation of Civil Liberties for all Persons Within its Borders” and affirmed that it was unlawful to discriminate based on national origin within the borders of the City of East Lansing and included
those people who were not naturalized citizens.
Now it’s possible that the city might take a step further and become a sanctuary city which means they would not be enforcing federal immigration laws.
During the Trump presidency, he had threatened to withhold federal funding to sanctuary cities but with President Biden in office now, financial considerations would no longer a concern.
The East Lansing Human Rights Commission received a proposal from the Associated Students of Michigan State University (ASMSU), a student government organization, asking for their support in making East Lansing a sanctuary city and also asking them to formally request support from the city council for the change.
With this new sanctuary city designation, it would mean that the East Lansing Police Department would not cooperate with I.C.E. or serve warrants to illegal aliens.
Data from a few years ago from the Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) showed that Michigan had the second highest rate of ICE arrests of illegal aliens with 1,498 people arrested in Michigan over a 20-month period starting with fiscal year 2017 through May of 2018. TRAC also listed that 177 people were being held at the Ingham County Jail in 2020 on an ICE detainer.
According to the June 13th meeting minutes of the East Lansing Human Rights Commission meeting, this change would offer illegal aliens more protections and services and help the city qualify with national databases as an actual registered sanctuary city.
A representative from the ASMSU told the commission that Michigan State University was also working on becoming a sanctuary campus but that it was a slow process. They are optimistic that support from the commission and a sanctuary city designation by the city council might move that process forward.
ASMSU hopes that the new sanctuary city designation will “act as a beacon for immigrants and undocumented community members.”
Commissioner Liz Miller advised that they would need to figure out potential economic and overall impact the change would have on the city before they present their recommendation to the city council.
At the end of the discussion, Miller made a motion to recommend to the city council that the City of
East Lansing be named a sanctuary city and the motion was passed unanimously.