sanctuary city

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Four churches in Syracuse have joined a growing number of religious organizations across the country that have declared themselves sanctuaries for illegal immigrants. The new Interfaith Sanctuary Coalition has formed to stand in solidarity with undocumented immigrants.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

Syracuse will remain a sanctuary city, according to Mayor Stephanie Miner, in the wake of efforts by the Trump administration to punish cities that refuse to uphold immigration law.

After the Justice Department threatened to withhold billions of dollars from self-proclaimed sanctuary cities, Miner said Syracuse is resolute in holding on to that designation.

“They’re trying to threaten and bully us into having our local police departments to become the tools of enforcement of federal, civil immigration law,” the mayor said.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the leader of the state Senate are not as enthusiastic about making New York a sanctuary state as are Assembly Democrats, who passed a bill earlier this week.

Cuomo, who has spoken out strongly for immigrants and against President Donald Trump’s executive order banning travel from seven Muslim-majority countries, is not committing right now to support a bill to designate New York as a sanctuary state for immigrants.

“We have to review the bill because exactly what a sanctuary state is, is a little ambiguous,” Cuomo said in Schenectady on Wednesday.

J. Stephen Conn / Flickr

Tompkins County Legislator Anna Kelles is writing a resolution to make the county a “sanctuary county."

It would codify what the county legally does and does not have to do for federal immigration officials.

“For example, if we’re not asking about immigration status and we’re not keeping a registry, then, when we are asked for information, that is not something we would offer because we are not collecting that information," said Kelles. "It is not in the contract of our local law enforcement to enforce anything with respect to immigration law.”

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

The New York Assembly moved Monday to establish New York as a sanctuary state, but the measure faces an uncertain future in the state Senate.

Assembly Democrats are backing measures that would give the entire state sanctuary status for immigrants.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner is supporting a campaign to allow undocumented immigrants to obtain a New York State driver’s license. Miner and other groups are lobbying state elected officials to sign on to the measure.   

Courtesy Tom Dadey

At her State of the City address in January, Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner said the Syracuse Police Department will not be used to enforce anti-immigrant policies. Onondaga County Republican Chairman Tom Dadey is criticizing Miner for declaring Syracuse a sanctuary city.

“It’s unfortunate that our mayor, who took an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States is not following that oath and is not following the Constitution by her statements saying that she will not follow the laws of the land,” Dadey said.

WRVO News (file photo)

President Trump’s pushback against sanctuary cities and the public reaction to his executive order temporarily banning travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries are two national issues that have deeply touched the city of Syracuse. At the center of both of them has been the city’s mayor, Stephanie Miner, and this week on the Campbell Conversations she joins host Grant Reeher to discuss the issues, including the potential funding risks for the city and the role of refugees in the city’s history. She also discusses her own political future.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO file photo

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner declared Syracuse a sanctuary city earlier this month and she’s not backing away from that after President Donald Trump signed an executive order Wednesday that would block federal grants from cities that don’t cooperate with anti-immigration laws.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner delivered her final State of the City speech Thursday evening.