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Bridgeport Votes To Become A 'Welcoming City' To Undocumented Immigrants

Courtesy of Make the Road CT

Connecticut’s​ ​largest​ ​city has adopted a term to show its support for undocumented residents, but it’s not “sanctuary city,” the term most cities use. Instead, Bridgeport voted to call itself a “welcoming city.”

The name is a compromise reached between Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim and local activists who've pushed for months for a “sanctuary city” designation. Ganim has said he thinks the term “sanctuary city” is divisive. The activists call this one a victory. They cheered as Ganim announced the vote passed.

Councilmember Katie Bukovsky sponsored the bill, backed by an intense push from the immigrants rights group Make the Road. After the vote, Make the Road organizer Julio Lopez Varona told activists Bridgeport had shown its support for undocumented residents, even though it didn’t use the term “sanctuary city.”

“When we show up as a place where people care, that makes a difference. When we are here for our neighbors, when we care, that makes a difference.”

Police chief A.J. Perez has already said the city won’t help federal agents arrest or deport undocumented immigrants. And the term “sanctuary city” is fuzzy, but that’s generally understood to be the baseline meaning.

Copyright 2017 WSHU

Davis Dunavin loves telling stories, whether on the radio or around the campfire. He fell in love with sound-rich radio storytelling while working as an assistant reporter at KBIA public radio in Columbia, Missouri. Before coming back to radio, he worked in digital journalism as the editor of Newtown Patch. As a freelance reporter, his work for WSHU aired nationally on NPR. Davis is a proud graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism; he started in Missouri and ended up in Connecticut, which, he'd like to point out, is the same geographic trajectory taken by Mark Twain.

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