Bridgeport's Controversy Over Sanctuary City Designation Continues

Mar 8, 2017

Activists in Bridgeport, Connecticut, are putting pressure on local politicians to make the city a sanctuary city. That’s a city that doesn’t work with federal immigration agents on raids and deportations.

Several cities across the country, including New Haven and Hartford, have embraced the designation. Bridgeport activists say it’s time for Connecticut’s largest city to join them.

About two dozen pro-sanctuary city activists packed into a small meeting room in Bridgeport’s City Hall Tuesday night for a city council committee meeting. A resolution to make Bridgeport a sanctuary city was on the agenda. They groaned as Committee Chair Michelle Lyons tabled the motion without comment. Lyons says that’s because Council Member Jose Casco, who introduced the resolution, wasn’t there.

“He’s out of town. Protocol is, when he submits the resolution, I need him here.”

Their next meeting will be in April. Julio Lopez Varona, with Make the Road Connecticut, says families in the city don’t have time to wait that long.

“At this point, we have people that are thinking about giving up powers of their children. This is not for tomorrow or for a month, this is for now.”

Mayor Joseph Ganim has said he doesn’t like the term “sanctuary city,” but he’s said the city won’t seek deportation for any residents, regardless of their immigration status.