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N.J. city with large foreign population declines ‘sanctuary’ status


By Marisa Iati | NJ Advance Media for
on February 24, 2017 at 10:58 AM, updated February 24, 2017 at 11:17 AM

ELIZABETH — The mayor of Elizabeth, where almost half the population is foreign-born, said he won’t give the municipality a “sanctuary city” designation despite concerns of immigration advocates.

Mayor J. Christian Bollwage said this week he believes the “sanctuary” phrasing would put a target on the back of unauthorized immigrants.

“If you become a ‘sanctuary city,’ you’re kind of encouraging the national officials (and saying), ‘Come look at us. Here’s where the people are,'” he said.

The term “sanctuary city” has no official definition under U.S. law, but it usually means local police will decline to help the federal government find and detain unauthorized immigrants.