On Monday, the Plainfield City Council will vote on a resolution to declare the city a "fair and welcoming community."
The resolution does not include the term "sanctuary," but a commenter warns of President Donald J. Trump's threatened loss of federal funds for such cities. It appears to be another piece of uncharted territory under the Trump administration. NPR reports that it may be law enforcement grant money, not other federal funding, that would be withheld, although that might be at cross-purposes with the order's goals to deter .
The resolution is too lengthy to include in a blog post, but anyone who needs to explore it in depth can examine the Feb. 6 agenda packet online. where it is listed as Resolution G. Among the provisions, it cites the need to keep the trust of immigrant communities by not discriminating against them or exposing personal information to outside authorities. Workers' rights, such as earned sick days, would be upheld regardless of their immigrant status. The city would re-affirm its "commitment to publicly and vigorously oppose any government registry based on religion or national origin."
In public comment, downtown business owner Maritza Martinez spoke in favor of the resolution and said, "Everybody is very scared," and some people are planning to leave the city.
"If Plainfield becomes a fair and welcoming city, it would be a wonderful thing," she said.
She then translated for three Spanish-speaking pastors.
"We believe in the unity of Plainfield," said the first. "We believe God has plans for the city of Plainfield."
The second pastor said the only thing the Hispanic community asks is for the resolution to pass, which drew applause from the large crowd in City Hall Library. The third pastor said he has been working for the Board of Education for 20 years, currently with 60 children who are all citizens. But, he said, their parents are not citizens. He said he was "very happy" that Plainfield will have the resolution and reminded the governing body that in eight years, all the children will be old enough to vote.
The regular City Council meeting is 8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 13, in Municipal Court, 325 Watchung Ave.