Speed Reads

Immigration

Lansing, Michigan was a sanctuary city for exactly 10 days

The city council of Lansing, Michigan, voted unanimously April 3 to label the town a sanctuary city, which generally means a jurisdiction where local law enforcement limits its cooperation with federal immigration officials. Then, on April 12, the council voted 5-2 to undo the decision.

The second vote was motivated by pushback from local citizens and the city and state chambers of commerce. "Recent actions of City Council, whether intended or not, have placed an unnecessary target on the City of Lansing while jeopardizing millions of dollars in federal funding that impacts the city budget," said a letter from the chambers to the council referencing President Trump's threat to withhold federal funds from sanctuary cities thwarting his immigration agenda.

City council member Carol Wood argues the situation is more complicated still. A mayoral executive order, which says Lansing police and city workers cannot ask anyone about their immigration status "except as required by federal or state statute or court decision" will remain in effect, and Wood says the council resolution didn't add any meaningful protections on top of that order. The resolution "won't make any difference" for undocumented immigrants, she said, so keeping the "sanctuary city" title could "give this false perception to people that there is something out there that is not there."