Hopewell Borough Declares Itself a Sanctuary City

Hopewell Borough Declares Itself a Sanctuary City

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Hopewell Borough declared itself a “Sanctuary City” by resolution at this month’s Council meeting. As a Sanctuary City, a welcoming community that serves and protects its residents regardless of immigration status, Borough services will be available to all residents and the Borough will not inquire about a resident’s immigration status in providing municipal services or in the course of law enforcement, except in connection with crimes of a violent and threatening nature.

“There is no standardized definition of a Sanctuary City, nor is there a precise legal definition assigned to the name,” explained Hopewell Borough Municipal Clerk Michele Hovan. “It is unclear how many sanctuary cities currently exist, but most maps and lists show the number to be in the 300 range, comprised of states and local jurisdictions all across the United States. It is also unclear how many sanctuary cities exist in NJ or have some element of sanctuary city protocol in place.”

The resolution provides that Hopewell Borough will refuse any request from a state or federal agency that requires the identification of a resident’s immigration status, leaving that determination to federal authorities. The Borough also will refuse any requests that are an extension of any federal immigration policy enforcement actions to federal authorities and shall not enter into any agreements to carry out such federal enforcement actions, but leave such actions to federal authorities, according to the resolution.

Furthermore, the resolution states that the Borough will encourage businesses, groups, organizations and houses of worship within the Borough to review and/or amend their own policies, if desired, to “share in the spirit of inclusiveness and welcoming for the benefit of those that may need assistance and safe haven as undocumented persons or refugees.”

While the Council has already passed the resolution, many members of the Hopewell Borough community plan to attend the next Council meeting to express their support, on March 2, 2017 at 7pm at Hopewell Borough Hall.

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Mary Galioto
Mary Galioto is the founder, publisher and editor of MercerMe, a lawyer. Originally from Brooklyn, Mary has progressively moved deeper and deeper into New Jersey, settling in the heart of the state: Mercer County. She and her mostly merry gang live in the charming town of Hopewell Boro lovingly maintaining their very old house. Formerly the author of an embarrassingly informal blog, Mary is a lifelong writer and asker of questions and was even mentioned, albeit briefly, in the New York Times and Washington Post. In her free time, Mary fills her life with mild germaphobia, excessive self-reflection, enthusiastic television viewing, and misguided adventures in random hobbies.

6 COMMENTS

  1. Isn’t this town a little late?
    Obama deported more undocumented than any other president,
    some 2.4 million by 2014 stats. Obama was know as The-Deporter-in-Chief.

    I knew one of those deportee.He had position in a nearby town for 20 years.
    He had committed no crime. I don’t how ICE works, but his number was
    up.

    Those who remain in their native country, are faced with terror, as are those
    who emigrate: fear of being kidnapped or murdered or trafficked. Lawrence Township
    High School has ‘Students Helping Honduras’ http://www.ltps.org/site/default.aspx?PageType=3&DomainID=8&ModuleInstanceID=95&ViewID=6446EE88-D30C-497E-9316-3F8874B3E108&RenderLoc=0&FlexDataID=4118&PageID=9

    The US government has had control over many Latin America countries, and people
    coming from other locations, as well. The military, CIA and State have worked together to
    protect the rights of corporations from the 19th c. on till today. Just look up the history of
    Honduras, to pick out the worst country. The state department has a new travel warning
    out: https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/alertswarnings/honduras-travel-warning.html

  2. Hopewell is stupid! They are about to lose any federal funding they receive. The Mayor and Council should be arrested!

  3. As a long time 70+years resident of Hopewell Boro, I am ashamed of what’s happening to this Boro and many others. This action by the Boro makes a “Mockery” of all those immigrants who have come here LEGALLY and shame on you!

  4. The Mayor is entitled to his opinion but he should not be forcing the residents of Hopewell Boro to support his protest, which is exact what it is, his protest against the Republican President. Pretty obvious.

  5. I have lived in Hopewell my entire life. I am 52 years old, and I was born here, raised here, got married here, and I am raising my family here. I agree with everyone’s replies to this story. What the mayor did, and more importantly, what the town council did, was make a very important decision without any input from the taxpayers, who will be the ones directly affected by this. If federal aid is taken away from the borough because of this, is the mayor and the 3 town council members who voted “yes” going to reach into their pockets and pay for the loss of revenue to the town? Of course not. The people of Hopewell Borough will have to pay in the form of higher property taxes. When a situation has the potential to impact the taxpayers, and possibly raise the amount of money they pay out of their pockets, then a referendum or some other type of vote should have been put to the towns people so they could have their say. The mayor has completely removed the voters/taxpayers from the very rights they have to make their voices heard and for them to make a choice. If there was a vote, and the majority of the voters said we want to make the town a “sanctuary city”, then so be it. But the mayor and the town council never even gave them that chance. And if you go online and read the comments associated with this story, which has been posted on many NJ websites, as well as on other states websites, the VAST majority of the comments are against what the mayor and town council has done. By making this choice without any voter feedback what-so-ever, these 4 individuals have made Hopewell Borough look very bad in the eyes of the public. Instead of Hopewell being viewed as a diverse community, these 4 individuals have made it look like Hopewell is an exclusionary dictatorship, and that the people have no say in how they live, what happens in their town, what is going on around them, or to have any rights what-so-ever. It is as if these 4 individuals are saying do as we say, agree with us, or get out. Not nice at all. I hope the voters remember this when re-election time comes back around.

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