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Hudson's Sanctuary City Policy Becomes Enforceable

Hudson New York
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Hudson, New York officials have codified a sanctuary city resolution the city council passed earlier this year. Proponents say this gives the resolution teeth, and the police department will be responsible for enforcing the order. The police chief says not much will change in how his force conducts itself.

The Hudson City Council in March passed a resolution entitled “Affirming Hudson as a Welcoming and Inclusive City.” Bryan MacCormack is with the Columbia County Sanctuary Movement. He says an executive order that limits collaboration between the Hudson Police Department and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, was put on the books last week.

“We are definitely happy that it’s now enforceable, and that was the importance of the executive order being passed,” MacCormack says.

MacCormack says his organization had been pressing for the codification.

“So we are happy that the mayor and police commissioner made that a policy or something that the police department can be held accountable to,” says MacCormack.

Here’s Hudson Police Chief Edward Moore.

“We’ve always acted basically in accordance to what the resolution dictates. We’ve never really acted as immigration officers. We’ve never proactively asked for people for identification and things like that,” says Moore. “So, in reality, the order, the resolution and subsequent order really is not going to change my department’s conduct very much at all.”

And, says Moore, other circumstances may not change either.

“My thoughts on this is I’m not sure that the order will change crime rates or even have the desired effect of making undocumented aliens feel safer or more apt to call to report crimes or that they’ve been a victim,” Moore says. “I’m very pessimistic about that because we have a real problem with citizens calling and reporting crimes. The old ‘snitches get stitches’ mentality is everywhere. So we have a hard time getting anyone to cooperate.”

Yet even if the order doesn’t much move the needle in the terms described by Moore, he believes it has value.

“On the other hand, it does get the information out there as to how we operate and its accountability and we’re accountable to our citizens here in the city, so I don’t have a problem with any of it,” Moore says.

MacCormack views the passing and enforcement of this executive order as an opportunity to educate the public about immigration and the Hudson community, provide training for the Hudson Police Department around the differences between policing and immigration enforcement and increase public safety.

“And we look forward to working with the police department to build more community trust with their department now that we are confident they won’t be collaborating with ICE,” MacCormack says.

The Columbia County Sanctuary Movement is translating the executive order into Spanish as was done with the resolution. Plus, says MacCormack, the group is planning a series of “Know Your Rights” workshops for community members, to include a discussion about the Welcoming and Inclusive City executive order.

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