Proposal to make Bozeman a sanctuary city

In Bozeman tonight, local lawmakers heard a proposal to make Bozeman Montana's first sanctuary city.

A hot button issue right now across the country is sanctuary cities offering protections to illegal immigrants by not prosecuting them for violating federal immigration laws.

A large crowd showed up to the city hall meeting to show their support of this proposal.

The proposal states “The city of Bozeman has long been a community made up of diverse individuals. "We join with cities around the country to stand with her in a great residence and hereby declare the city of Bozeman and a sanctuary city that strives to be a community free of hostilities in aggressions and upholds the commitment to be a community free of prejudice bigotry and hate.”

Becoming a sanctuary city is more than just a sign of solidarity.

It includes offering several protections to immigrants with an illegal status-- mostly by saying federal immigration laws can only be enforced by federal agencies.

Pan Strout, Montana chapter president for the national organization for women, says this especially affects law enforcement.

"They do not have to choose between doing their jobs and upholding a federal policy," said Pan Strout.

"What it means to the people who are seeking sanctuary were immigrants if they are trying to be helpful they may not be citizens they may not be documented, but if they are trying to uphold the law the last and want to report something they cannot be prosecuted by the police when they are trying to uphold some other law," said Strout.

According to the proposal it says “No law-enforcement official shall stop arrest search detain or continue to detain a person solely based on individual sedition ship or immigration status. It is the policy of the police department not to inquire about immigration status of crime victims, witnesses or others who call or approach the police seeking assistance. Immigration regulation is exclusive to the federal government.”

There are already opponents to Bozeman becoming a sanctuary city.

“I think it's a terrible idea if you don't go through the legal process of entering the country legally then you have broken the law,” said Tom Tuck, Bozeman Tea Party Member.

We will keep you up to date with the latest information surrounding the proposal.

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