The Boise City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to adopt a resolution highlighting the city’s long-standing role as a welcoming community and a community of refuge for those fleeing violence and persecution from conflicts around the globe.
“It’s been a tough week or 10 days in this country. And frankly, it’s been embarrassing and disgusting at times,” Mayor Dave Bieter said. “This is a re-affirmation of who we are and what we are as a city.”
The resolution declares “the City of Boise is committed to being a Welcoming City and creating a community where all of our residents feel welcomed, safe, and able to fully participate in, and contribute to, our city’s economic and social life.”
“Our city is known as a leader for welcoming all people. We have a responsibility to welcome, speak up for, and stand with all of our residents regardless of where they are from,” said Council President Pro Tem Lauren McLean, in the news release. “Boise is a special place and that is because we strive to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to share their unique contributions within our community.”
The resolution specifically mentions that Boise “has welcomed refugees seeking new homes, safety, freedom, and opportunity” since the 1970s and highlights the work done by the City of Boise, Neighbors United, the Idaho Office of Refugees and others to help refugees become contributing and valuable members of the community.
“We have been working hard to make Boise the most livable city in the country,” said City Council President Elaine Clegg. “We want our residents and visitors alike to know that these are our values and encourage them to join us in demonstrating how we as a community can put those values into practice.”
The resolution also talks about the importance of maintaining trusting relationships between immigrant communities and local law enforcement as part of the city and Boise Police Department’s community policing efforts.
The resolution does not make Boise a so-called “sanctuary city.”
According to the Center for Immigration Studies, about 300 cities, counties and states across the nation have declared themselves sanctuary cities and have policies to protect undocumented immigrants by limiting enforcement of federal immigration laws.
President Donald Trump has issued an executive order to withholding federal funding from sanctuary cities.