Springfield mayor, city council still at odds on ordinance protecting undocumented immigrants

Hampden County

Springfield’s mayor said he will veto a City Council ordinance that would prevent city employees from acting on federal immigration orders.

The Springfield City Council said they still will be able to enact their Welcoming Community Trust Ordinance, even without Mayor Domenic Sarno’s approval.  

The Springfield City Council wants to pass a new ordinance that would change how the city responds to federal immigration requests.

This ordinance would prohibit city employees from asking a resident their immigration status, unless required by federal or state law or if its relevant to their job.

Mayor Sarno told 22News he will veto the ordinance, which he says puts residents safety at risk.

“In essence, it’s telling any city employee in any city department that you can not ask any questions that could pertain to public safety or public health type issues,” Sarno told 22News. “That’s not right.”

Under the Welcoming Community Trust Act, police officers and city workers would not need to follow orders from federal immigration officials.  

But, City Council President Orlando Ramos wants the public to know this ordinance would not make Springfield a sanctuary city.

“This is not a sanctuary city ordinance,” said Ramos. “There isn’t anything in this ordinance that would make this city a sanctuary. We are asking our municipal employees to not do the job of federal agents which they are not being compensated for.”

Ramos told 22News this ordinance would not cost taxpayers any money, as city employees would not have to carry out investigative work required by ICE

Ramos said the City Council has the votes to override Mayor Sarno’s veto and pass the ordinance at their meeting Monday.

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