Kriseman Declares St. Petersburg a ‘Sanctuary’ from ‘Harmful Federal Immigration Laws’
By ANNE LINDBERG, TB Reporter
St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman stopped just short of declaring St. Petersburg a “sanctuary city” in his latest blog, but said the city stands in “solidarity” with “Sanctuary Cities.”
ST. PETERSBURG – Over the past few weeks, Mayor Rick Kriseman has said frequently that St. Petersburg welcomes all and will protect all who come here.
In his blog, Kriseman addressed the issue saying:
“Muslim leaders have told me that their community is fearful, while residents from all backgrounds have implored me to deem St. Petersburg a ‘Sanctuary City.’ While our county sheriff’s office is ultimately responsible for notifying the federal government about individuals who are here illegally, I have no hesitation in declaring St. Petersburg a sanctuary from harmful federal immigration laws. We will not expend resources to help enforce such laws, nor will our police officers stop, question or arrest an individual solely on the basis that they may have unlawfully entered the United States. Should our solidarity with ‘Sanctuary Cities’ put in peril the millions of dollars we receive each year from the federal government or via pass-through grants, we will then challenge that decision in court. Win or lose, we will have upheld our values.”
“Regardless, we will continue to create conditions that afford both sanctuary and opportunity. In my city, that means a higher minimum wage and paid parental leave for city employees. It means second chances and summer jobs for our youth and training for adults. It means supporting entrepreneurs and those who want to live the American dream, regardless of what they look like, who they worship, or where they come from. We recognize the value of being diverse and the meaningful contributions immigrants make to our society, and especially to our national and local economy.
“Of course, the larger debate is no longer about sanctuary cities but about President Trump’s demonization of Muslims and the recent suspension of our refugee program.
“Immigration, and the provision of shelter for those who arrive here, is hardwired into our national DNA. It is, in fact, the very foundation of America. In the age of not just Trump but unhealthy nationalism, it rests with cities to honor this history and to shine even brighter as “beacons of pluralism”, to quote If Mayors Ruled The World author Benjamin Barber.”
To read Kriseman’s full statement, go to medium.com.
Rick Kriseman | St. Petersburg | Sanctuary Cities | Immigration | TB Reporter
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