The City Council passed a resolution calling Lansing a sanctuary city April 3, following an executive order from Bernero that clarified the city’s procedures regarding immigrants and refugees. That resolution was spurred by an incident where Lansing police called ICE after arresting an undocumented woman during a traffic stop. But in a special meeting last night, after pressure from business groups and politicians, the Council voted to rescind the sanctuary city resolution in a 5-2 vote. Councilwomen Kathie Dunbar and Tina Houghton voted against the rescission, while Councilmembers Judi Brown Clarke, Carol Wood, Jody Washington, Adam Hussain and Patricia Spitzley voted for it; Jessica Yorko was absent.
The City Council’s actions do not affect Bernero’s executive order, which is consistent with policies of other sanctuary cities. Lansing’s new policy is that it will not detain people based on administrative immigration warrants — so-called retainer or detainer orders — and will not work to enforce immigration laws alone. The executive order also prohibits Lansing officials from contacting ICE, except when a person is allegedly involved in “a serious crime.”