The social justice group Mijente is continuing its efforts to make Louisville a so-called sanctuary city.
The group delivered a petition with about 2,600 signatures to that effect to a mayor’s aide at Metro Hall on Monday morning.
Jesús Ibañez of the local chapter of Mijente — a Latinx-focused social justice group whose name translates to “my people” — says it’s time Mayor Greg Fischer and the Metro Council join other cities across the country and give Louisville an official sanctuary city designation.
“Be compassionate as we know he is, as we know he has said before and help the undocumented community that’s scared,” he says. “They’re scared of Trump’s executive orders, they’re scared of the raids happening across the country.”
Cities across the country have adopted the label as a way to indicate they will not turn over information about residents to federal immigration officials or comply with new federal orders to target those in the U.S. without documentation. Still, there is no single definition of the term “sanctuary city.”
National media outlets have reported an increase in raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement in cities across the country within the past week.
On Monday afternoon, Metro Corrections announced it had turned over an inmate to ICE officials. David Reyes had been held since September 2015 on two counts of first-degree rape and one count of first-degree kidnapping.
Reyes had been under an ICE hold since Sept. 25, 2015, and Metro Corrections officials failed to notify ICE when his sentence here was ending last year, the department said. Reyes was taken into ICE custody Monday, according to an email from a Metro Corrections spokesman.
Fischer has held to his position that he will not declare Louisville a so-called sanctuary city, saying doing so could subject the city’s federal funding to scrutiny. The Trump administration has said it would target such cities with threats to funding.
However, Fischer has said local police would not be used to carry out immigration raids or other federal immigration business. And he has continued to call for compassion toward immigrants and refugees in the city.
Ibañez says while the group would like Fischer to give Louisville an official designation, policies are more important than the label.
“He doesn’t have to declare sanctuary city,” he says. “As long as the policies are there to protect the undocumented community, we’re OK with that. But the policies have to be there. We want a resolution.”