Ypsilanti Passes ‘Don’t Ask’ Ordinance

By Charlie Peña CBS 62/CW50 Intern

With a sudden rise in immigration reform, Ypsilanti is fighting back. President Donald Trump signed multiple executive orders on immigration which include a ban on travel from seven predominately Muslim nations. He also signed an order that states if cities don’t increase their immigration security, the government will cut funding to that area. These areas are called ‘sanctuary cities.’ This order has already had a notable effect on places like Ypsilanti where there is a high immigrant population. Immigrants, both documented and undocumented, have a concern for their safety.  As a result, Ypsilanti city officials have passed a ‘Don’t Ask’ ordinance that states no public service employee or authority has the right to solicit information regarding immigration status if it’s irrelevant in that case.

The people of Ypsilanti have other concerns about the president’s actions on immigration reform. Although Ypsilanti doesn’t identify as a ‘sanctuary city,’ they  may fit the description and could potentially have funding cut if they do not abide by the executive order. The economic repercussions of a potential funding cut to ‘sanctuary cities’ would be catastrophic. Many of these cities that have an influx of immigrants depend on government funding to keep their economy in motion. City officials will continue to fight for the rights of their community members and hope the president reconsiders cutting funding.

One of the major problems Ypsilanti faces is the safety of the immigrants, legal and illegal. Mayor Amanda Edmonds is concerned this new push on immigration reform is going to make it a fearful process for an immigrant to report a crime. It potentially makes people extremely vulnerable when they can’t call and ask the police for help without having their immigration status flagged. There are legal immigrants that have lived in Ypsilanti for years that are afraid to contact authorities due to a lack of trust.

The people of Ypsilanti’s diverse community are beginning to unify and it proves that even when staring in the face of adversity you can remain strong. The ‘Don’t Ask’ ordinance should help give the people of Ypsilanti a sense of security at a very insecure moment in American history.

Street Beat host Lisa Germani sits down with Mayor Amanda Edmonds to discuss the ‘Don’t Ask’ ordinance on a special immigration edition of Street Beat, Saturday, February 25, 2017 at 8:30am on CW50.

Charlie Peña is a Digital Media Specialist that studied at Lansing Community College. He is now interning with CBS 62/CW 50. He enjoys filming and editing video and has a special interest in recording and mixing music.

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