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Dems Push To Make Richmond A ‘Sanctuary City’


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Democratic activists in the Commonwealth of Virginia are pressuring the mayor of Richmond to make the state capital a “sanctuary city,” according to a Monday report in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney is facing pressure by fellow Democrats to officially declare the city a “sanctuary city,” essentially daring President Donald Trump to cut off federal funding to the state’s capital. Stoney opted to resist the pressure Monday by avoiding the politically dangerous S-word, but he did take the time to reiterate in an official statement that the city of Richmond is inclusive of people from all backgrounds.

Activists affiliated with the group “ICE out of RVA” held a rally last week outside the federal courthouse in Richmond, and are currently circulating a petition that has over 1,379 signatures, according to the Dispatch. The group plans to March to the mayor’s office next Monday, where they will hand-deliver the petition to Stoney.

Stoney’s office refuses to use the term sanctuary, claiming it’s true meaning has been muddied with political posturing.

“The term ‘Sanctuary City’ is often used derisively by immigration opponents to undermine community policing policies,” Stoney Press Secretary Jim Nolan told the Dispatch. “In fact, community policing policies are about providing public safety services to both immigrant residents and the entire community. That is what we will do, and that is what the Mayor’s directive affirms.”

“We have been outspoken on these issues from the beginning,” Stoney said in the official statement, “but I thought that it might be helpful to provide some official clarity to you all on where our city stands today.”

Although unwilling to fight Trump directly on the sanctuary issue, Stoney made his opposition to Trump clear, taking the time to slam Trump’s executive order, which severely limits travel from seven Muslim-majority nations in the Middle East.

“These actions peddle fear,” Stoney said. “They are ill-informed and I believe misguided. Some are unconstitutional and others are just plain un-American. That is not the country we are. It is not the city we will be.”

“This is a statement that clarifies any misunderstanding or misconceptions that might be out there with regard to what the city is doing for every resident in this community.”


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