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East Lansing now considered sanctuary city, first in Michigan

City of East Lansing
Posted at 4:33 PM, Jan 11, 2023

EAST LANSING, Mich. — East Lansing's City Council voted at their meeting Tuesday night to officially make itself a sanctuary city.

The measure passed in a 3-1 vote with council member George Brookover being the single vote against the measure saying it was no different from the 2017 safe haven resolution.

East Lansing has considered itself a safe haven for immigrants since 2017 meaning East Lansing Police Department officers don't help federal agencies enforce immigration laws.

Becoming a sanctuary city takes that one step further making it a law to protect undocumented immigrants from deportation or prosecution despite federal law.

East Lansing officials have been reviewing this resolution since November with the original suggestion to pass it coming from the Human Rights Commission after Michigan State students with the Associated Students of Michigan State University presented the idea.

East Lansing Mayor Ron Bacon said they need to start preparing even more to help immigrants who want to come to East Lansing for safety.

“That’s where I stand on this, and I have moved to where I am in support of us being a sanctuary city because we have very little to lose, and I do want to send out that clarion call that we are that shining city on the hill because that’s just who we are and who we’re going to be moving forward,” Bacon said.

East Lansing is now the only sanctuary city in the state, but there are sanctuary counties, including Ingham, Kalamazoo, Kent and Wayne counties.

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