The vote was scheduled to take place Tuesday afternoon, but commissioner Marcia Hovey-Wright says the legal implications of passing the resolution need to be assessed further.
“We have decided…the chair and I have decided to remove that item from the agenda and refer it to committee—which is the normal way it should have been done in the first place so that they can look at the legal aspects, they can look at making sure its including everything we want to include.”
The resolution to recognize Muskegon as a Welcoming County would affirm the county to be a diverse and welcoming place for all people including immigrants and refugees and promote understanding and collaboration between all groups; but commissioner Zach Lahring is concerned that the resolution could be the first step in making the county into a sanctuary community.
“We are a very welcoming community. The problem is that the resolution has an agenda behind it and it’s a step forward by a progressive group to move towards sanctuary status.”
Although there is no legal definition of a sanctuary city, county or state – the term became most popular three decades ago when the city of San Francisco prohibited local police from helping Immigration Customs Enforcement in the deportation of any undocumented immigrant. But for Hovey Wright the resolution is simply about making the county more welcoming for all people.
“if people feel at home here, they feel welcomed here, they want to live here, they want to be employed here…its good for business.”
Michelle Jokisch Polo, WGVU News.