The Hamtramck City Council passed an ordinance Tuesday prohibiting city employees from policing or denying services to people based on their appearance, immigration status or other factors.
Intended to encourage community participation among immigrants and minorities, according to City Attorney Jim Allen, the ordinance has been brought to the council on multiple occasions, failing to pass in the past sesions because of reluctance among council members and confusion about different versions of the measure.
The ordinance, which passed five to one, allows undocumented immigrants to report crimes and seek city services without the fear of inquiries about their immigration status.
It also bans other forms of discrimination or profiling based on appearance, ethnicity, gender, manner of dress, national origin, physical characteristics, race, religious beliefs or sexual orientation.
Allen said that a similar measure passed in Detroit last year has not caused any problems for police, as exceptions have been specifically outlined to allow inquiries on immigration status and physical descriptions for the purposes of conducting criminal investigations.
Several civil rights activists and Hamtramck residents attended Tuesday’s city council meeting to support the ordinance, celebrating its passage after weeks of anticipation.
“It’s a win for the community,” said Dawud Walid, executive director of the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).”And not just for residents of Hamtramck, but for people who work in the city, who drive through Hamtramck.” (MORE)