ITHACA, N.Y. — Ithaca officials are likely to formally approve an ordinance Wednesday night that officially designates Ithaca a Sanctuary City — all despite an Executive Order issued by President Donald Trump that will pull some federal grants from cities that refuse to comply with more strict regulations involving undocumented immigrants.
Mayor Svante Myrick previously said, “Honestly, we can operate just fine without those grants and we will.”
The proposed pulled grants would be from the Department of Justice and Homeland Security.
Myrick said Ithaca does not usually get grants from the Department of Justice and only gets the occasional, small sum grant from Homeland Security.
Related: Ithaca Mayor stands firm in proposed sanctuary city status despite Trump’s Executive Order to cut federal funding
In a social media post Tuesday, Myrick wrote:
This is an ordinance – not just a statement – but an actual ordinance that will ensure Ithaca remains a sanctuary for all hard-working people.
Trump wants to break us apart. He is targeting sanctuary cities – falsely believing that we will turn in our neighbors to save ourselves.
Well, we are not taking it laying down.
So tomorrow I am asking our Council to pass this ordinance that will ensure that every one of our neighbors can feel safe to – among other things – contact the police when they need help or have a tip that can help save a crime – without fear that they’ll be detained and deported. Because police all over the country agree, making people without documentation fear their local cops makes us all less safe.
This ordinance is entirely legal – unlike Trump’s executive orders. And if we need to, we’ll prove it in court.
Alderman Cynthia Brock, 1st Ward, first proposed the ordinance draft to the City Administration Committee meeting on Jan. 18.
Related: Resolution in works to make Ithaca ‘safe city’ for undocumented immigrants
At the time, she said, “Undocumented individuals are much more likely to live in poverty, they are much more likely to be victims of exploitation, they’re much more likely to live in sub-standard housing and we need to make sure as a city in terms of things that we can address, we do address these things.”
Common Council will vote on the measure Wednesday night. The meeting starts at 6 p.m. in the Common Council Chambers at City Hall, located at 108 E. Green St. in downtown Ithaca. A public comment period will be available at the beginning of the meeting.
Featured photo by Alyvia Covert/ The Ithaca Voice