Monday, February 27, 2017

Actions Here and There

Last Monday, the Hudson Police Commissioner Martha Harvey and Mayor Tiffany Martin Hamilton issued an order directing that "no resources, facilities, or property of the City of Hudson that are ordinarily or generally in the use or control of the City of Hudson Police Department . . . be made available for use by agents, officers, or employees of the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement ("ICE") except as may be required by law." As Hamilton explained in a video filmed by Lance Wheeler, the action was taken, in response to sweeping changes in immigration enforcement policy, "to make the most vulnerable members of our community feel protected." Last Thursday, in a press release, the Hudson Police Officers Union called for the order to be rescinded. One of reasons given was this: "Law enforcement shouldn't be limited or modified by two individuals who have no experience in enforcing laws and keeping the community safe."

Interestingly, on the same day the Hudson Police Officers Union issued its press release, the New York Daily News reported that New York City Police Commissioner James O'Neill had, the day before, issued an internal memo to NYPD officers in response to the expansive deportation policies of the Trump administration: "NYPD commissioner reminds cops to ignore President Trump's immigrant deportation orders." The following statement from that memo is among those quoted in the Daily News article: "It is critical that everyone who comes into contact with the NYPD, regardless of their immigration status, be able to identify themselves or seek assistance without hesitation, anxiety or fear." 

Tonight, the proposed Common Council resolution "affirming the City of Hudson as a welcoming and inclusive city," a resolution sometimes thought of as the "sanctuary city" resolution, will be discussed at the Police Committee meeting. The resolution proposes that officers of the Hudson Police Department will continue their current practice of not asking immigration or citizenship status; will not stop, question, or investigate people solely on actual or suspected immigration status issues; will not inquire into the immigration status of any crime victim, witness, or person reporting a crime; and will not assist immigration enforcement except in certain clearly defined instances involving threats to public safety or the execution of criminal warrants, or when local law enforcement cooperation is required by state of federal statute. The Police Committee meeting begins at 6 p.m. at City Hall.

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