However, several people who spoke Tuesday night said that it's a different time than when those guidelines were adopted back in 2007.“This is now a different administration with different rules," said Kevin Dreyfuss, who also suggested the resolution be strengthened.
Resident Jeffrey Jacobson, former chief counsel to the Attorney General's Office, emphasized that the AG's directives are not “out-of-date” until they are rescinded.
The resolution reaffirms "Montclair's continuing commitment to equal, respectful and dignified treatment of all people regardless of their immigration status." It also reaffirms the township is an "open and welcoming community."It does not mention the words "sanctuary city" or "sanctuary township."As they were two weeks ago, the Council Chambers were again packed, with more than 100 people in attendance.
Many had come to the meeting hoping a sanctuary city resolution like the one proposed last November would be approved.
If Tuesday night’s Montclair Township Council meeting were a story, then it could be called “Goldilocks and the Three Bears.”Some residents felt a resolution affirming Montclair as a “welcoming community” was too weak. Ultimately, the council members decided to go with something they hoped would please most people, if not all, without language that would jeopardize the township legally and financially.
Jennifer Dorr spoke about a teacher she had who was born in a Japanese internment camp in the U. Dorr recalled how her teacher told her that when her parents were being dragged from their homes and their belongings seized, their neighbors turned their heads away."I think Montclair is in a position to define what a sanctuary city can be," adding, "Sometimes the laws of our nation are unjust."Contrary to the previous meeting where few voices were heard opposing a sanctuary resolution, Tuesday night’s meeting had its share of dissenting views.
The resolution was moved by Fourth Ward Councilmember Renee Baskerville and seconded by At-Large Councilmember Bob Russo.
Third Ward Councilmember Sean Spiller also supported the resolution, though he wished the words “sanctuary city” were in it.
She felt confident that the council had reviewed many legal opinions, other towns' resolutions and listened to the community.
She noted that there's more than one definition of sanctuary cities, and there's no one true meaning.