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Troy moves closer to becoming sanctuary city

December 04, 2018 11:20 PM

TROY, NY - The Collar City is one step closer to becoming a sanctuary city. The Public Safety Committee voted two to one in favor of a resolution making Troy a sanctuary city.

The resolution was introduced by council member and Public Safety Committee Chair David Bissember. The resolution said it would affirm Troy’s commitment to being an inclusive and welcoming city and continue its longstanding practice of not inquiring into the immigration status of individuals provided government service. It says it will also have Troy Police continue its practice to not inquire into a person’s immigration status.

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Troy City Council President Carmella Mantello said she feels this resolution is unnecessary.

“To turn around and say we’re going to treat illegal immigrants or any immigrant in general differently is just fake,” said Mantello.

Opponents call it a political ploy and say it directly contradicts the Rensselaer County Sheriff’s Department’s cooperation with ICE.

At Tuesday night’s Public Safety Committee meeting, the public comment period lasted more than two hours. Residents were split on the issue. Rensselaer County Executive Steve McLaughlin, who is a Troy resident, came to speak on the issue.

“No matter what this city council does, Rensselaer County will not be a sanctuary county,” said McLaughlin. “We will not question, we’re not going after anybody, but if they’re wanted by ICE we’re going to find them.”

Those in favor of the resolution said it’s important for the city to make a statement by saying the city won’t shut out anyone. Speaking in favor of the resolution was a Troy mother named Dalila Yeend. She’s an immigrant from Australia. Troy Police arrested her after she says she rolled through a stop sign. She didn’t have a valid driver’s license. She was eventually picked up by ICE and detained for several months.

“I just think that if this passes, it will help a lot of people and maybe what happened to me won’t happen to someone else’s children,” said Yeend.

There is expected to be a full city council vote on the resolution on Thursday, Dec. 6.

Troy Mayor Patrick Madden said he cannot support the resolution as it currently is. He released the following statement:

“Earlier this week, we brought together the resolution’s sponsors and Troy Police leadership to discuss my administration’s various concerns with the proposed legislation. Unfortunately, the issues raised during this meeting have not yet been addressed. Accordingly, I cannot support this non-binding resolution in its current form, and respectfully ask that the City Council engage with our public safety professionals and community members and consider their diverse viewpoints on this issue. This administration and the Troy Police Department strongly support efforts which foster trust in local law enforcement, critical to building a safer, more welcoming, inclusive community for all people."

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Emily DeVito

Copyright 2018 WNYT-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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