Published on: Wednesday, January 25, 2017 News

Takoma Park, A Sanctuary City

Earlier today, President Trump signed an Executive Order regarding border security and immigration enforcement. We are currently reviewing the Executive Order to determine the potential implications for Takoma Park, which is proud to be a Sanctuary City.

The City of Takoma Park has a 30 year commitment to protecting its widely diverse community as a Sanctuary City.

During the 1980’s, local churches began offering sanctuary to some of the thousands of refugees fleeing brutal civil wars in El Salvador and Guatemala. This led to a series of supporting resolutions initiated and adopted by then Mayor Sam Abbott and the Takoma Park City Council.

In 1985, the ordinance was passed officially making Takoma Park a “Sanctuary City.” Affirmed and amended several times, the last in 2007-08, the Takoma Park Sanctuary law (Municipal Code, Chapter 9.04) prohibits City police and other City employees from asking Takoma Park residents about their citizenship or immigration status. It also prohibits them from cooperating in the enforcement of federal immigration laws that could lead to the deportation of residents.

The dedication to our immigrant residents continues today. In his message to the City on Nov. 11, Takoma Park Police Chief Alan Goldberg said, “Our Constitution specifically prohibits a ‘National Police Force.’…We have no interest or authority in the deportation of immigrants. The mission and commitment of the Takoma Park Police Department is the safety and welfare of all our residents….”

Safeguarding and building trust are key community values.  Mayor Kate Stewart affirmed the City’s support for its immigrant neighbors. “We are a City that welcomes those who are the victims of economic upheaval, terrorism, or violence regardless of their national origins and that refuses to demonize Muslims. We are a City that upholds the right of ALL people to live their lives with dignity and respect.

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