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Newton Votes To Become A 'Welcoming City' For Immigrants

This article is more than 5 years old.

Newton city councilors on Tuesday night approved a ban on local police cooperating with federal immigration authorities.

Councilors voted 16 to 1 to become what they call a "welcoming city," which is similar to the "sanctuary city" designation.

There are exceptions: Police in the Boston suburb will help federal authorities in cases that involve immigrants in the country illegally who are arrested on a criminal warrant or who are convicted of a serious violent felony.

The local policy was enacted hours after the U.S. Department of Homeland Security outlined new rules tightening the enforcement of immigration law.

Newton City Councilor Ruthanne Fuller said she wants immigrants to feel safe around law enforcement.

"They can go to our police department if they have a witness to a crime or have been a victim of a crime, and they don't have to worry about being deported," she said.

The only councilor to oppose the measure said the city is picking and choosing which laws to enforce.

Newton Mayor Setti Warren, who approves of the ordinance, gave his final State of the City address following the vote. Warren, a potential gubernatorial candidate, is not seeking reelection.

With reporting by WBUR's Simón Ríos



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