Supporters of Troy becoming a sanctuary city hold vigil outside mayor's fundraiser

December 11, 2018 01:29 PM

TROY – The debate continues on whether or not Troy should be a sanctuary city. Last Thursday, Troy City Council tabled the resolution on it.

Monday night, those who support the legislation gathered for a vigil outside of the Franklin Terrace Ballroom. That’s where Mayor Patrick Madden was holding a private fundraiser. Last week, Mayor Madden said he cannot support the sanctuary city resolution in its current form. The vigil Monday night was meant to get the mayor’s attention and change his stance.


"When decisions are being made, it’s really easy for people to feel down or to feel like their job is done, but it is a way for us to rally everyone together,” said Troy resident Hined Rafeh.

The resolution was brought forward by Councilman David Bissember, who is a democrat. He stopped by the vigil before heading into the fundraiser. He said he appreciated the support and would pass along their thoughts to the mayor.

The resolution says the City of Troy will continue its longstanding practice of not inquiring into the immigration status of individuals provided government services. It would also have Troy Police continue its practice to not inquire into a person immigration status.

"It's the right thing to do,” said Vice President of the Troy Area Labor Council Sean Collins. “To welcome these folks into our country with open arms and assist them with the asylum they're seeking.”

Collins also said it’s time for the mayor to speak out about the issue and support it.

“This issue was raised last summer, the mayor was largely silent on it then,” said Collins. “This resolution has been sort of out there this discussion has been happening and ongoing and the mayor had more than a year to give to the process and make changes."

Those also against Troy becoming a sanctuary city include the Troy Police Benevolent Association President as well as City Council President Carmella Mantello. Last week Mantello said Troy is already a welcoming, inclusive city.

“Fixing our roads, hiring more cops, insuring our folks here in Troy are safe, that's our job as local officials,” said Mantello (R). I really think the sanctuary city has kind of drifted the council into a direction that I certainly am not comfortable with."

But Monday night many said they will keep fighting until this resolution goes through.

"This is not done and we're going to continue fighting for a Sanctuary City and to make this a better community," said Rafeh.


Emily De Vito

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