South County Sanctuary?
Should Massachusetts towns declare themselves "sanctuary" or "safe" communities? It's an issue which has come up for debate in a number of municipalities, most recently Greenfield, which is in the middle of a very divisive discussion over whether to declare itself a "safe city," which would effectively prevent anyone in local law enforcement or government from assisting in federal efforts to round up undocumented immigrants.
So far, the issue has not been a very hot topic in the south county, although the Whately Selectboard earlier this year took on the matter in response to a local resident's request for clarification of the police department's policy on ICE detainment.
The debate has been front-burner enough that it raised the question, what is the situation with south county immigrants, and how do the towns of Conway, Deerfield, Sunderland and Whately plan to address the matter? Over the course of the next few weeks, FCAT's new Senior Producer Esther Glovacki plans to take a deep dive into this issue in a series of interviews with local officials, immigrants, and residents in the start of what we believe will be a compelling series that will shed some light on how small communities like ours are dealing with this matter.
In the meantime, if you happen to have feedback on the topic, or may know of someone whose story might be compelling and would be willing to be interviewed, give us a call at 413-665-0012 or email firstname.lastname@example.org