‘Welcoming Community’ ordinance passed in Easthampton

Hampshire County

EASTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Easthampton City Council voted unanimously to pass a Welcoming Community Trust Ordinance on Wednesday.

It prevents city employees from inquiring about the immigration status of members of the public unless it’s required by law. Police also will not hold someone for an extended period of time for an ICE detainer request, according to Councilor Peg Conniff.

Conniff told 22News, that this policy is similar to what is already in place in Easthampton.

Michael Brusco of Easthampton agrees with the policy.

“They’re obviously coming here to escape divisive tendencies that their foreign countries display. They are moving here to try to better their lives,” Brusco said.

Conniff said the intent of the Welcoming Ordinance in Easthampton is to make the city safer. She explained that the city council wants people to feel comfortable going to the police to report a crime – whether they are a citizen or not.

“I know it’s a controversial thing,” said David Cooper of Easthampton.

In the past, residents have said that this ordinance could shield criminals, but Conniff said that the Welcoming Community Trust Ordinance will not protect people who have committed a crime.

The cities of Springfield, Holyoke, and Northampton have all passed similar ordinances. Greenfield City Council will be voting on a “Safe City” ordinance during a meeting next Wednesday at 7:00.

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