The City Council has rejected a proposal to study whether Quincy should designate itself a “sanctuary city.”
The proposal, by Councilor-at-Large Nina Liang, called for the council to study the issue and decide whether to joinBoston, Cambridge, Somerville, and others calling themselves sanctuary cities. Liang said she was not in favor or against the designation, but called the matter worthy of consideration.
“It’s our job to rise above and get the facts,” she said.
Voting with her were councilors Joseph Finn and Bill Harris.
Harris had objected to Liang’s resolution at an earlier meeting, a move that prohibited any discussion of it then. But he said Liang attended a subsequent meeting of his constituents in Ward 6 and took questions on the topic, and that impressed him.
But though he supported a discussion, Harris said he was not in favor of the designation.
“Sanctuary city” is loosely defined and generally means that local law enforcement officials will not report undocumented immigrants to federal authorities. President Trump has said that sanctuary cities and towns risk losing federal funds, though details about how this would be carried out are unclear.
The council vote drew at least 100 people, many of whom held signs either in favor or against the resolution.
Sanctuary city advocate Cameron Bateman, from a group called South Shore People’s Network, said people in Quincy should not fear being chased away from their homes.
Bateman said that since the Nov. 8 election he has heard of young students worried about their futures. He said being a sanctuary city would signal that undocumented immigrants do not need to live in fear.
He said the group is committed to working for sanctuary city status for Quincy, despite Monday’s vote.