Northampton cited as city choosing not to comply with ICE
Northampton has been cited as one of the many cities choosing not to comply with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainer requests.
President Trump’s executive order released on Jan. 27 seeks to cut federal funding from sanctuary cities that don’t arrest or detain illegal immigrants.
In 2014, Northampton mayor David Narkewicz issued an executive order declaring that the city will not comply with ICE detainer requests unless there is a judicially issued warrant or the individual has committed a criminal act.
Narkewicz, a 1990 University of Massachusetts alumnus, addressed some misunderstandings regarding sanctuary cities.
“The term sanctuary is used in a way that implies that we are giving people who are breaking the law sanctuary. That’s not what’s happening here. If you commit a crime and come to Northampton you will be arrested,” Narkewicz said. “If ICE came to Northampton, we wouldn’t prevent them from carrying out their duties.
“We’re not trying to keep federal officials out or hold criminals,” he said. “What’s really at issue here is we want trust among all member of our diverse community.”
Narkewicz is not too worried about threats of funding cuts to sanctuary cities.
“In terms of actually cutting federal funds, I personally believe they don’t have the lawful authority to do that, and if so it would be in a very limited way. The Federal government cannot order local police departments to carry out their programs from a 4th and 10th amendment perspective,” he said.
President of the Northampton City Council Bill Dwight, echoed the mayor’s thoughts and lack of fear regarding Trump’s executive order.
“We will not lose federal funding under [Trump’s] executive order as it’s already been adjudicated in the court system,” Dwight said.
Dwight explained that the mayor has full support from the city council in regards to Narkewicz’s executive order passed in 2014.
“Everyone is emphatically supportive of the mayor’s executive order. We have passed three resolutions in agreement with Mayor Narkewicz, and all three have been unanimously voted on,” Dwight said. “We want our community to feel safe and secure going to the hospital, reporting a crime and just living in the city generally as well.”
Captain John Cartledge of the Northampton Police Department also had a similar reaction to Narkewicz and Dwight on their city’s status as a sanctuary city.
“We have observed no significant change in crime rates since Northampton became a sanctuary city,” Catledge said. “One of our many goals is to ensure that members of our community feel safe coming to us to report crimes that they have witnessed or to report their own victimization. One of the benefits to being a sanctuary city is that immigrants, undocumented or not, may feel more empowered to do this.”
Cartledge did express concern of the Trump administration cutting federal funding to cities such as Northampton.
“Any threat to federal funding or potential loss of financial support would bring additional challenges to any community. Any cut in funding that directly impacts our police department has the potential to impact the level of services that we are able to provide,” he said.
Cartledge stated that he does not believe cutting off federal funding is effective in addressing this issue.
Jacqueline Hayes can be reached at email@example.com.