On March 27, 2017, the West Palm Beach City Council will be issuing a resolution to demonstrate its commitment to welcoming immigrants and refugees, regardless of race, religion, ethnicity and country of origin.
Jill Hanson, Board member of the Florida Immigrant Coalition and the Palm Beach County Coalition for Immigrant Justice, released the following statement:
“West Palm Beach has taken a courageous first step in making immigrants feel welcome, showing that the City Commission is willing to do what it takes to protect West Palm Beach families from living in constant fear. With this resolution, West Palm Beach is putting the safety of our communities ahead of politics and we are thankful to the City Commission and Mayor Jeri Muoio for their leadership.”
Afifa Khaliq, communications director at SEIU FPSU, added, “We urge all the cities and counties in South Florida, and across the state, to stand firm against any threats to our vibrant immigrant communities. This is not the time to crumble and give in to questionable executive orders that may not even be constitutional. Thankfully, West Palm Beach is proving resilient against this toxic wave of hateful rhetoric. We applaud their bravery on this day and look forward to their next steps in the fight to welcome and protect all West Palm Beach residents.”
The decision by West Palm Beach officials to support immigrant families, regardless of status, comes on the heels of similar votes of support by leaders in Hillsborough County, St. Petersburg and Broward County.
This resolution is in sharp contrast to Miami-Dade County, where County Commissioners agreed with Mayor Carlos Gimenez’s decision to capitulate to President Donald Trump’s Executive Order mandating that localities hold undocumented immigrants for the federal government at taxpayer expense.