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Why Should You Support the Sanctuary for Peace Ordinance?

The Sanctuary for Peace Ordinance, which passed the City Council in March 2017,  codifies existing municipal and policing practices that keep our community safe. It also sends a strong message of support to our immigrant neighbors—documented and undocumented—who are fearful that they or their families may be endangered as a result of stepped up immigrant enforcement. (See a copy of the Ordinance as passed here.) 

The Salem Ordinance basically reaffirms existing policies by:

  1. Establishing that the first priority of Salem public safety personnel is the safety, protection, and security of all Salem residents, regardless of one’s country of origin.

  2. Reiterating that in their local law enforcement role, Salem police will use community policing lens, and will not act as immigration officials.

  3. Reinforcing that city services are accessible to all residents, regardless of immigration status.

The Ordinance was carefully written to comply with state and federal laws, and does not threaten municipal funding from the federal government.

Evidence from multiple studies shows that communities that welcome their immigrant population are safer, with lower crimes rates, and are more prosperous, with higher median incomes and lower poverty and unemployment. Salem is made less safe, not more safe, when a sizable portion of residents fear calling police to report an issue or share information.

The Sanctuary for Peace Ordinance reassures immigrants in our community that they may reach out to local law enforcement, access city services, take their children to school or to the doctor, without fear that local officials will ask about their immigration status.


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