BURIEN, Wash. -- For the second time in two months, Burien's city council approved a 'sanctuary city' ordinance designed to protect immigrants from deportation. The only difference, Monday's meeting did not feature two council members leaving early and the term 'sanctuary city' was taken out of the measure.
The vote followed hours of public testimony. Supporters claimed in the current political climate, the city should declare itself a 'sanctuary city' to prevent law enforcement from asking immigrants about their status, for risk of deportation.
Opponents believed the ordinance was worthless, since the city already follows established law that says the same thing.
"To provide the safety and security that the citizens of Burien are asking for are better provided by police and cannot be provided by just passing this ordinance," commented Deputy Mayor Bob Edgar.
"I think it's our responsibility to do two things," said council member Nancy Tosta, who supported the measure, "Number one, to reduce the fear that's come to permeate our country. And to ensure people in our community feel safe."
Council member Lauren Berkowitz, who sponsored the ordinance, proposed two amendments to include religious minority protections. Council member Tosta proposed removing the term 'sanctuary city'. Both were approved.
Indeed, the entire ordinance was approved by the council by a 4-3 vote. Supporters said even with the removal of 'sanctuary city' from the measure, it still contains the rules and laws they wanted put in place.