God bless Hightstown, New Jersey!

Posted on May 1, 2007. Filed under: immigration |

Hightstown – a quiet town near Princeton University – and a fast-growing number of “sanctuary” cities and towns are bucking draconian federal immigration policies.

From Looking the Other Way on Immigrants (Washington Post):  

But equally fervent are a less well-known but fast-growing number of “sanctuary” cities and towns — from Seattle to Cambridge, Mass. — where local authorities are effectively rejecting the federal government’s call for tougher enforcement and instead bestowing a measure of local acceptance.

In New Haven, Conn., for example, officials have prohibited police from asking about an immigrant’s legal status, and in July the city will introduce municipal identification cards, providing undocumented immigrants with a “locally legal” form of ID that will make it easier for them to apply for bank accounts and sign rental leases. Overall, at least 20 cities and towns have approved pro-immigration measures over the past three years, according to the D.C.-based Fair Immigration Reform Movement. Analysts and advocates say almost as many — including at least five in New Jersey, where about one in 17 residents is an illegal immigrant — are considering similar resolutions.

“What we’re seeing is a surge in immigration policy at the local level,” said Michael Wishnie, a Yale University law professor who has worked with New York City on pro-immigration measures. “What they have in common is that mayors are basically saying, ‘Look, this is a major issue for us, and if Congress can’t fix it, we will.’ “

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