City Council votes to reaffirm Madison’s status as ‘immigration friendly’

City Council votes to reaffirm Madison’s status as ‘immigration friendly’

Madison city council voted Tuesday night to reaffirm Madison’s status as an immigration friendly city.

The vote comes after President Donald Trump announced he will penalize cities that don’t cooperate with immigration and customs enforcement.

It was packed inside the council chambers Tuesday night. At least 50 people were there in support of the resolution. Twenty-one of them spoke about how important it was to them. Once it was passed all of them stood up and cheered.

In 2010, Madison passed something similar. The resolution instructed police to not inform federal immigration officers about undocumented immigrants unless they had committed a violent crime.

Many city council members wanted to come back and reaffirm that policy, in light of Trump’s executive order that would suspend federal funding to cities that didn’t work with immigration and custom’s enforcement.

Initially, Madison Mayor Paul Soglin was against some of the language in the resolution. Specifically a clause that made the fourth floor of the City-County Building a “safe space” for immigrants but that was changed slightly. Under the current resolution parts of the CCB and city libraries will be called “safe places.” The safe places will offer interpreters and immigration services.

At the city council meeting Soglin seemed very supportive of the updated resolution. He said Madison is an immigrant friendly city, he just doesn’t want to do anything unnecessary that would cause Madison to lose out on federal funding.