SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno wants to clear up the confusion. He said the City of Springfield is not a “sanctuary city,” and he doesn’t intend to make it one.
This comes after President Donald Trump signed an executive order which would strip funding from so called “sanctuary cities.”
In a statement sent to 22News, Mayor Sarno said:
Springfield has done more than its fair share in stepping up to the plate when it comes to dealing with homelessness, refugees, and subsidized housing, regardless of immigration status…Commissioner Barbieri and I have been and will continue to cooperate with federal law enforcement authorities in their pursuit of violent repeat criminal offenders.
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Below is Mayor Sarno’s entire statement regarding “sanctuary cities”:
“I would like to clarify that Springfield is not a sanctuary city and I do not intend to pursue any type of designation. It has been well documented in the last few years my aggravation in dealing with resettlement agencies and state and federal officials who do not properly communicate, engage or give proper full long-term wrap-around services to refugees.
“Though we are a caring city and I am first generation myself, of note, my parents in their younger days survived underground at times in Italy during the Nazi Occupation of World War II. Springfield has done more than its fair share in stepping up to the plate when it comes to dealing with homelessness, refugees, and subsidized housing. As the Boston Federal Reserve report of 2011 pointed out, you cannot continue to concentrate poverty on top of poverty. Again, the non-long term follow through of resettlement agencies in continuing to provide for refugee’s leaves all their issues of need at City Hall’s doorstep without any supplemental funding.
“I’m all for empowerment, but as was noted a year or two ago, these resettlement agencies were putting individuals who had gone through traumatic experiences in their home countries in condemned housing units in the City of Springfield – which doesn’t help them out nor does it help out the city or those neighborhood areas. Commissioner Barbieri and I have been and will continue to cooperate with federal law enforcement authorities in their pursuit of violent repeat criminal offenders. If individuals are victimized they will be treated as any one of our residents with respect and follow through.
“I don’t want to jeopardize the millions of dollars of federal funding and grants that we pursue to deal with improving public safety issues, economic development initiatives and education. For any urban mayor, Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds are a lifeline for urban youth development housing initiatives and job creation programs.
“I hope that President Trump and his administration realize that there is a give and take here. We will follow the law. If he was to pull these millions of dollars away from cities, this could cause even more of a negative situation for urban centers. These monies from the federal level I utilize more as an empowerment initiative not an entitlement initiative.”