Why Michigan’s Chamber of Commerce urged Lansing to rescind its “sanctuary city” declaration

Apr 13, 2017

Lansing's City Council did an about-face last night. 

The Council reversed its earlier unanimous decision to declare Lansing a "sanctuary city". The 5-2 vote means the city is not a sanctuary for immigrants, particularly undocumented immigrants.

The Trump Administration has threatened to punish sanctuary cities by withholding federal funds.

The Michigan and Lansing Chambers of Commerce had been urging Lansing's City Council to rescind that earlier resolution.

Rich Studley, the president and CEO of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, joined Stateside to explain why they rejected the resolution.

"Here at the Michigan Chamber, we worked in cooperation with the Lansing Regional Chamber to encourage members of the city council to reconsider a hastily-adopted resolution that contained the statement that instead of being just a welcoming city, which is something that both chambers of commerce could support, that we go beyond that to become a so-called sanctuary city," Studley said.

According to Studley, the problem with the resolution is that it did not include a clear definition of what a sanctuary city is, and that it raised more questions than it answered. But the main opposition to the label was the risk of losing state and federal funds.

Listen to the full interview above to hear Studley's thoughts on what role Michigan businesses have to fix our broken immigration system and why Canada's approach could be the answer. 

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