Protesters speak out against sanctuary city status

Posted at 7:21 AM, Apr 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-11 11:51:04-04

No sanctuary for illegal aliens. That's just one of the signs brought to the Lansing City Council meeting by a pro-Trump group:

"We are proactive," Benjamin Hirschmann said. "It is a great day to be conservative and we aren't backing down. This is just the first of many protests, rallies, etcetera."

They're fired up. Some coming all the way from Grand Rapids and Detroit, saying becoming a sanctuary is against the law. In simple terms, becoming a sanctuary city means Lansing will be protecting its illegal immigrants. Police won't turn over undocumented people unless they have to. But Hirschmann says it's unfair to legal immigrants.

"If you come here," Hirschmann said. "Then you should go through the process of becoming a citizen. You should not try to stiff arm the government."

Others are worried the president will cut off Lansing's federal funding. They believe their voice can change city council's mind on the issue.

"I believe they'll take it under consideration if we do it in the right, respectful way and don't throw shade at others."

Meanwhile, a group that supports sanctuary cities called 'By Any Means Necessary' also spoke with the council, defending the decision.

"I think it's important to stay here and speak out against them to show city council that we're still in support,"Seth Kalis with BAMN said. "That the progressives in this city will remember the good work that they did on this issue."

Kalis says he's happy undocumented workers can feel like they're part of the community now and work alongside the police. He doesn't think the council will change their decision. And while they didn't vote on anything today, Patricia Spitzley says you never know what could happen in the future.

"If there are council members who bring it back up for review, it'll be reviewed" Spitzley said.