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  • Hartford, Connecticut

  • New Haven, Connecticut

  • Hartford, Conn. Joins Roster of "Sanctuary Cities”
    By Amy Crawford for News 21, August 21, 2008

    Hartford, Conn., has joined New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and hundreds of other cities big and small in declaring that police and city officials cannot inquire about anyone’s immigration status. Mayor Eddie Perez, who had expressed some reluctance about the City Council’s proposal, signed the ordinance on Tuesday.

    City Councilman Luis Cotto, quoted in the Hartford Courant, explained why he introduced the bill:

    If you are a law abiding resident of the City of Hartford, you should have no fear of reporting a crime to police and you should be able to utilize the city’s services. People are here. We can’t do anything about that.

    Proponents of such laws say that if illegal immigrants are afraid to come forward and report crimes, the police cannot do their jobs. As San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom put it in an op-ed this month, these cities are trying to create a climate where residents, regardless of immigration status, can feel free to call the police or fire department, or take a sick child to the hospital, without fear of deportation.

    On the other hand, opponents point to crimes committed by illegal immigrants as a reason to report undocumented people who are arrested. One especially gruesome example was this triple-murder in San Fransisco earlier this summer.

    So-called "sanctuary cities” are controversial, but they illustrate the flip-side of local ordinances against illegal immigration, like the one passed in Hazleton, Pa. in 2006 One thing is certain: in the absence of a federal immigration reform law, municipalities will continue to enact their own immigration policies.
    Ball debates immigration with mayor of New Haven, Conn., his ideological opposite
    By Leah Rae for The Journal News, June 3, 2008

    NEW YORK - Assemblyman Greg Ball, R-Patterson, engaged in a mini-debate yesterday with the mayor of New Haven, Conn., his ideological opposite on the question of illegal immigration.

    The two appeared in a forum at John Jay College of Criminal Justice that examined changes in immigration enforcement - specifically, the growing enlistment of local police. The two represented opposing currents in the actions of local governments.
    Danbury congregation joins sanctuary movement
    By Marcela Rojas for The Journal News, May 28, 2008

    The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Danbury, Conn., has joined the New Sanctuary Movement, a national faith-based campaign seeking to assist families facing deportation while advocating for immigration reform.

    "We’ve seen how our current immigration policy has led to many families being torn apart, people unjustly detained and deported," said Southeast resident Carl Tichler, the congregation’s board president. "We want to publicize the current injustices" and how they affect families, he said.

    The Danbury congregation, which has some 150 members, recently voted 67-7 to participate in the New Sanctuary Movement, pledging to "take a public, moral stand for immigrants’ rights" and "protect immigrants against hate, workplace discrimination and unjust deportation."

    While some sanctuary churches have harbored illegal immigrants inside houses of worship, the Danbury Unitarians expect to help families obtain legal aid, lobby authorities and publicize the struggles of family members separated because of their immigration status, Tichler said. The plan will be refined as they move forward and work with the national movement, he said.
    Hartford Immigration Attorney Pleads Guilty To Document Fraud
    By JEFFREY B. COHEN | Courant Staff Writer, May 10, 2008

    Jose del Castillo, a city immigration attorney and former chairman of the Hartford Redevelopment Agency, admitted in federal court Friday that he falsified federal documents to assist illegal immigrants along the path to legal residency. Del Castillo, 48, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to one count of federal document fraud, a felony that could net him up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

    Del Castillo was indicted in late 2006 on nearly two dozen counts of document fraud for filing immigration forms with state and federal officials saying his clients had legitimate job offers as cooks and hosts at Mamacita’s at the Forge Restaurant, a Broad Street restaurant he owned earlier in the decade.
    Activist blasts immigration policy in Danbury speech
    AP, May 5, 2008

    DANBURY, Conn.—Civil rights activist Rev. Al Sharpton has told a Danbury church congregation that the immigration policy in the city is unfair.

    more stories like thisSharpton is criticizing the way Danbury officials have handled the illegal immigration issue. Nine men who were nabbed after an undercover officer offered laborers work are being deported. Sharpton says he doesn’t lie to people and then deport them.

    Sharpton was the guest speaker Sunday at New Hope Baptist Church and told the group that he plans to get arrested in New York on Wednesday.

    He says the action is s part of a civil disobedience demonstration to protest the verdict acquitting three police officers in the shooting of a man.
    Danbury church may help illegal families - Unitarians would be first congregation in state to join national movement
    By Eugene Driscoll the News-Times, March 30, 2008

    DANBURY -- The Unitarian Universalist Congregation is considering joining a national faith-based movement that assists families targeted by the federal government for deportation.

    In some cases, churches aligned with the New Sanctuary Movement provide refuge to targeted families by allowing them to live at a congregant’s home or inside the church -- a place the government is traditionally hesitant to enter to make an arrest.
    Assembly Readies For Immigration Fight
    Turn to Ten, February 28, 2008

    PROVIDENCE -- The General Assembly is about to take up the hot button issue of immigration, legal and illegal, in Rhode Island.

    Lawmakers who want protections for immigrants filed bills that would allow anyone to apply for a driver’s license and go to school regardless of immigration status.
    Danbury police to be trained as immigration agents
    Republican American, February 28, 2008

    DANBURY(AP) — Despite hundreds of protesters outside City Hall, the Danbury Common Council overwhelmingly approved a plan Wednesday that will allow some police officers to enforce immigration laws.

    The move, which passed 19-2, now gives Police Chief Al Baker authorization to enter into a training agreement with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
    Connecticut City Plans to Team Its Police With Federal Immigration Agents
    By JILL P. CAPUZZO, New York Times, February 6, 2008

    DANBURY, Conn. — When baseball season begins, Mayor Mark D. Boughton will probably throw out the first pitch again for this city’s Dominican baseball team. On Sundays, he sometimes can be found on the sidelines at the soccer games organized by many of the ethnic communities here. And he makes it a point to be at the annual Hajj festival held by the sizable Muslim population.