A new resolution in State College is intended to help immigrants in the community.
Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia is the director at the Center for Immigrants Rights Clinic at Penn State and works with the immigrant community in Centre County, as well as providing education about immigration.
“The stakes are higher and the need for it is even higher,” Wadhia said.
She added that with a new administration in the White House, many have reached out to her with concerns about their immigration status.
“And a personal risk of apprehension, detention, deportation,” Wadhia said.
She said the system isn’t to blame.
“Immigration enforcement happens each and every day, it’s a federal responsibility,” Wadhia said.
In an effort to keep it at a federal level, the borough created Resolution 1176, which condemns Islamophobia, Anti-semitism, sexism, Xenophobia and Homophobia.
It also says quote, “it is not the responsibility of local officials to enforce immigration law.”
“We want people to come forward if they see a crime or they’re a victim and not be concerned about the fact that perhaps their immigration status is compromised,” Evan Myers, State College Borough Council member said.
Evan Myers said it’s intended to embrace equality in the community.
During the council’s meeting Monday, people including Professor Wadhia and former council member Peter Morris, spoke about the importance of the resolutions meaning.
Current council members noted the complexity of immigration laws, but believe this resolution will limit fear in the borough.
All eight members voted in favor of the resolution.
“I’m very, very happy right now that council passed this and passed it unanimously and it was a good night for the borough council,” Morris said.
Council members and the mayor of the borough will discuss more on immigration during an educational forum Thursday at Penn State Law.