It was an hours-long meeting of the Springfield City Council Monday night, but they still haven’t given final approval to the Welcoming Community Trust Act.
It was a packed City Council meeting, with people holding signs thanking the City Council in multiple languages, for considering an ordinance to provide protections to immigrants and undocumented individuals in Springfield.
The Welcoming Community Trust Act would prevent Springfield law enforcement from working on behalf of Immigration and Customs Enforcement or other federal agencies or questioning people’s immigration status.
Mayor Domenic Sarno said the proposed law would hurt the safety of the city.
“This really is about the Council telling city officials, all rank and file, that you don’t have to follow the laws and look the other way,” said Mayor Sarno. “My responsibility, my duty, my obligation as the mayor of the City of Springfield is to make sure that we don’t cause any type of liability issue.”
Sarno made it clear if the ordinance passed, he would veto the measure.
Councilor Adam Gomez said the ordinance isn’t about ignoring the law, but leaving the enforcement of federal laws to federal agents.
“Policing the immigration status of individuals would be performing federal duties, which Sarno has clearly stated ought to be handled on the federal level alone,” Gomez told 22News. “Under the coordinates, local law enforcement would not have to funnel their own resources into performing duties of federal agencies.”
It would take nine votes to overrule a mayor’s veto.
The Springfield City Council will take a final vote on the Welcoming Community Trust Act on December 17.