Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan says Detroit will continue to operate as a Welcoming City – a status that does not have the same provisions as a “sanctuary city” – in the wake of an executive order signed by President Trump banning immigrants from some majority-Muslim countries.
“When President Obama was attacked for his decision to increase acceptance of Syrian refugees, Detroit became a national leader in publicly offering a home for these families,” Duggan writes in a statement.
Many residents had been calling for Duggan’s administration to clarify its position on immigration in recent days. As a Welcoming City, Detroit is one of several cities that, according to WelcomingAmerica.org, “works across multiple sectors, such as government, business, and non-profit, to create inclusive policies and practices such as making it easier for entrepreneurs to start a business or having government documents available in multiple languages.”
It does not have the same definition of sanctuary city, which does not have a legal definition. Unofficial sanctuary cities “resist changes in the law that would require local criminal law enforcement agencies to do the federal government’s job of enforcing immigration laws” such as preventing local officials from asking about immigration status or detaining immigrants.
In Duggan’s statement, the mayor denounced Trump’s actions based on his own experiences with immigrant populations in the city.
“When you hear the pride and excitement in their voices for their chance to start a new life in this country, you realize what America means to so many in the world. Our country won’t be made safer by telling victims of oppression that America’s doors are closed to them or by telling them they’re unwelcome because of their religion,” he writes. “That’s just not who we are as Americans.”