Sunday, December 18, 2016

Support Our Residents

The Hudson City Democratic Committee (HCDC) encourages the Hudson Common Council, Mayor, Police Commissioner, and Police Chief to work together to create a policy that prioritizes safety and community over immigration enforcement.

 People attend Common Council in support
of Immigrant Access to Driver's Licenses
As cities across the country are declaring themselves “Sanctuary Cities” and “Fourth Amendment Cities,” HCDC has drafted a policy framework that supports safety for all Hudson residents, workers, and visitors.

“Immigrants bring tremendous value to our city—economically and culturally,” says HCDC Chair Michael Chameides. “Immigration enforcement does not improve our city and would likely distract from other priorities.”

Immigration enforcement can be costly, as it requires officers, detention facilities, and transportation, which shifts valuable and scarce resources away from other critical services. In addition, when people are detained and deported, the community loses the valuable contributions they can make.

Map of "Sanctuary Cities"

“Enforcement of federal immigration laws is the prerogative of federal enforcement agencies, not local law enforcement agencies,” Chameides says. “When Immigration and Customs Enforcement request that local law enforcement detain someone without a signed warrant from a judge, local law enforcement can opt out, according to Federal courts.”

“The community is very concerned about the anti-immigrant rhetoric of the Trump administration,” says Chameides. “In order to feel safe, we need to know that there are specific policies ensuring our safety. To help move the process forward, the Hudson Democrats have put together some recommendations based on successful policies that other communities have enacted.”

The HCDC recommendations include a policy where police officers do not ask for proof of citizenship or immigration documents nor do they actively report issues to Immigration and Customs Enforcement except where required by law or when public safety is threatened. The HCDC encourages limiting immigration enforcement to matters of public safety, direct threat to life, and as required to safely execute a criminal warrant or court order issued by a federal or state judge.

Several regional cities and executives have issued similar frameworks.

Police in Kingston, NY do not ask abgout a person’s citizenship or residency status, and Mayor Steve Noble recently stated that it’s not the city’s role to enforce federal immigration laws.

The Great Barrington, MA Police Department “does not investigate civil immigration laws, as this role falls to the federal government,” according to a resolution the Town recently passed. “All of our residents should be completely confident that their local police department is here to assist them in a crisis situation.”

NY State Governor Andrew Cuomo has said “We won’t allow a federal government that attacks immigrants to do so in our state.”

“I have full confidence in the Common Council, Mayor, Police Commissioner, and Police Chief,” says Chameides. “They may have concerns, and that is understandable. I look forward to working together to create a policy that prioritizes the safety of all our residents.”

HCDC encourages the public to attend the following meetings:

Common Council
January 9 7:00pm

Police Committee
January 23 6:00pm

Legal Committee
January 25 6:15pm

HCDC Passed "Support Our Residents" on 12/17/16


The Hudson City Democratic Committee (HCDC) declares support for all residents, workers, and visitors.

Whereas HCDC has declared support for a climate that celebrates Hudson’s diversity, diverse workplaces, and respect for all individuals,

And whereas immigrants bring tremendous value to our city, economically and culturally,

And whereas attacks directed towards undocumented people also harm people with documents and the greater community,

And whereas immigration enforcement does not improve our city or make the city more safe and would likely distract from other priorities,

And whereas immigration enforcement can be costly - officers, detention, transportation, and loss of contributions from people detained and deported,

And whereas President-elect Trump has pledged to deport millions of people and many experts say this is only possible if local police forces are enlisted to cover some of the costs,

And whereas, the threat of deportation or prosecution for no reason other than immigration status may discourage residents without legal immigration status or who have family members or friends without legal immigration status from reporting crimes or injuries, cooperating in investigations, seeking opportunities for their children living in this community, or summoning help when needed,

And whereas, enforcement of federal immigration laws is the prerogative of federal enforcement
agencies, not local law enforcement agencies and federal courts have established that most detainer requests from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to state and local law enforcement are entirely voluntary,

And whereas many cities have passed “Sanctuary City” and “Fourth Amendment” resolutions,

And whereas HCDC has a role in recommending and passing policy,

Now therefore be it resolved by the HCDC:

  1. HCDC encourages the Hudson Common Council, Mayor, Police Commissioner, and Police Chief to work together to discuss the following framework for a policy:
    1. Hudson police and courts prioritize safety and community over immigration enforcement
    2. Hudson police do not ask for proof of citizenship or immigration documents, to the extent reasonably possible
      1. While it may often be necessary to determine the identity of a victim or witness, consistent with applicable law, police officers shall not question, investigate, or inquire about the immigration status of any person, including a victim or witness.
      2. Persons are not required to prove their citizenship status. Police officers shall not request identification for the purpose of determining an individual's citizenship status.
      3. Although not required as evidence of identity or citizenship, a driver's license is required for operation of a motor vehicle, regardless of a person's immigration status. Police officers may request the driver of a motor vehicle to produce a driver's license. The failure of a motor vehicle operator to produce a driver's license upon request after a moving violation or traffic stop may subject the operator to the appropriate charge (i.e. driving without a license).
    3. Hudson police do not report cases to immigration enforcement institutions except in cases where a person has been convicted of a felony
    4. Hudson police do not track or record citizenship status, to the extent reasonably possible
    5. The Hudson Police Department shall not engage in, assist, or support immigration enforcement except as follows:
      1. In response to an articulated, direct threat to life or public safety; or
      2. When such services are required to safely execute a criminal warrant or court order issued by a federal or state judge, or
      3. A case where it has been demonstrated federal or state regulations require local law enforcement cooperation, 
      4. If the warrant is not a matter of direct threat to life or public safety, compliance is limited to what is legally required and is structured to limit overtime hours and so as not to distract from the department's priorities of safety and community.
    6. Nothing in this provision shall prohibit City of Hudson members from assisting victims or witnesses in obtaining U Visa/T Visas, where appropriate.
  2. HCDC encourages its members and volunteers to help shape and support a Common Council resolution modeled after other cities’ “Sanctuary City” and “Fourth Amendment” resolutions.
  3. HCDC encourages its members and volunteers to support the Mayor in signing a Common Council resolution and/or issuing an executive order to implement the above policy
  4. HCDC encourages its members and volunteers to support the Mayor, Police Commissioner, and Police Chief to craft policy and procedures that are aligned with the above policy