Boynton Beach drops Sanctuary City pursuit

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Boynton Beach City Hall

Tuesday night’s full-house meeting of the Boynton Beach City Commission was met with vocal participants and passionate residents as the topic of ‘sanctuary city’ was discussed.

City Commissioner Christina Romelus had requested the five-member commission open the topic of Boynton Beach becoming a ‘sanctuary city.’ As the gathering of officials and citizens unfolded, it became evident that there was not enough support to continue the commissioner’s pursuit.

The dialogue became heated at times as determined residents shouted their opinions to the officials.

In the end, Commissioner Romelus was the only Boynton Beach City Commissioner in support of the idea, which prompted the topic to be scrapped from moving forward.

During Romelus’ bid for opening the idea, she expressed that she did not want police to pursue or detain people in an effort to determine if they are living illegally in the city.

Romelus cited residents of Honduras, Haiti, and Nicaragua who will be especially vulnerable to deportation should they be aprehended.

Jeffrey Katz, Boynton Beach Police Chief, said that officers do not actively pursue investigations into immigration status, even without the sanctuary city status. He continued by saying that police are encouraged to communicate with other law enforcement agencies and fulfill legal obligations to share intelligence.

Cities throughout America are opening discussions about how they will handle their cooperation with federal immigration officials.
President Trump issued an executive order to deny funding – aside from law enforcement – to cities that refused to collaborate with federal immigration officials.
Last month, a district judge in San Francisco ruled the order unconstitutional.
Boynton Beach Vice Mayor Justin Katz said, “It’s for the federal government to make these decisions.”
In March, West Palm Beach passed a resolution declaring the city a ‘Welcoming City.’ The declaration creates an understanding that employees will not aid federal law enforcement officers in rounding up immigrants for deportation unless they are specifically required by court order, or by state or federal law.

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