Mayor Sarno to veto city council ordinance aimed at protecting undocumented residents

Hampden County

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Mayor Domenic Sarno announced Tuesday that he plans to veto the city council’s efforts to make Springfield a sanctuary city.

“My concerns have always been for the health and public safety of our residents and business community and not to create a liability issue of our city employees to neglect their sworn duties to follow the letter of the law,” Sarno said in a statement sent to 22News.

Sarno plans to veto the city council’s ‘Welcoming Community Trust Ordinance,’ which was unanimously approved by the council last week. Read more: Springfield City Council approves ordinance protecting undocumented residents.

“Plausible solution to deal with this illegal immigration issue and stop letting it trickle down to the local municipalities,” Mayor Sarno added. “That’s where decisions have to be rendered on the federal level.”

The ordinance is aimed at protecting undocumented immigrants in the city. Multiple cities and towns across Massachusetts, have passed similar laws, including Boston, Northampton, and Holyoke.

Springfield City Council President Orlando Ramos issued a statement in response to Sarno’s decision Tuesday, saying the mayor’s “constant contempt towards diversity and immigrants is especially concerning considering the fact that he is the mayor of one of the most diverse cities in the Commonwealth.”

Ramos also said the city council will override his veto and make the Welcoming Community Trust Ordinance law.

City Councilor Jesse Lederman told 22News the ordinance does not require city workers to look the other way. If the mayor does veto the ordinance, Lederman also said he’s confident the city council will have enough votes to override it.

Sarno has said in the past that he does not intend to make Springfield a sanctuary city.

Full statement from Springfield City Council President Orlando Ramos:

“If Mayor Sarno chooses to veto the Welcoming Community Trust Ordinance, the City Council will override his veto and make it law.  The intent of this law is to ensure that everyone in our city is treated like a human being regardless of where they come from.  The Ordinance itself states that “A city official shall not inquire as to an individual’s immigration status unless required by federal or state law”; thus, it does not conflict with any existing law.”

“Mayor Sarno’s constant contempt towards diversity and immigrants is especially concerning considering the fact that he is the mayor of one of the most diverse cities in the Commonwealth.  Despite the Mayor’s rhetoric, I’m hopeful that the City of Springfield will not be perceived as anything other than a welcoming city.” 

Related

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Editor's Pick

More Editor's Pick