Citizens push for sanctuary city at council meeting

DANNY LOCHRIDGE | Evergreen reporter

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

Pullman citizens voiced concerns over President Donald Trump’s ban on travel from certain Muslim-majority countries during the City Council meeting on Tuesday, calling on officials to declare Pullman a sanctuary city.

“We urge the council to not act upon or use any city resources for the enforcement of any presidential executive order,” said Whitman County Democrats Chair Eric Fejeran.

The Democrats’ main concern was that the executive order is not constitutional. They proposed the city make a public statement that Pullman will use its resources to support all people, address issues with equality and diversity in the area and take the necessary steps to make Pullman a sanctuary city.

“My ability to work and be protected of deportation can be taken away with a signature of President Trump,” Keyla Palominos, an undocumented student at WSU, said at the meeting.

Palominos requested that the city take action to protect its citizens and everyone who may not have their U.S. citizenship during the meeting’s public forum.

Palominos proposed the city ensure local law enforcement does not cooperate with federal immigration services and that Pullman officials enact a measure that refrains from asking for immigration status or place of birth.

“We also stand in solidarity with the Muslim community and refrain from cooperating with unconstitutional efforts to create a Muslim registry,” she said. “Now I ask that the city of Pullman stand in solidarity with all of us and to protect the rights and dignity of its citizens.”

The council could not take an action at this time, but Mayor Glenn Johnson said they will review their requests.

“This is a safe community,” Johnson said, “and we protect all of our residents.”

Later in the meeting, the immigration was brought up again during the legislative priorities.

“Immigration needs to be something that we continue to look at,” City Council member Nathan Weller said.

Also at the meeting, Pullman Fire Chief Mike Heston proposed adding a prepaid ambulance ride into the tuition of WSU students, as he said 35 percent of ambulance rides are for students.

The proposed student fee of $25 would be included in undergraduate tuition, but not graduate tuition. He said it would help with some of the costs for students and the city.

“This would alleviate the problem of students not using an ambulance because they think they can’t pay for it,” City Council member Al Sorenson said.

The idea is still in the early stages but it is advancing quickly, Heston said. Heston is also supposed to speak at the ASWSU meeting today.