‘Welcome To The Non-Sanctuary City’

Trump, Ganim June 1994
Trump and Ganim in Bridgeport in 1994.

The full City Council Monday night is scheduled to vote on a resolution “requesting that the City of Bridgeport be declared a “WELCOMING CITY,” something of a compromise after Mayor Joe Ganim balked at declaring the Park City also a “sanctuary city” in deference to Donald Trump’s threat he’d withhold money to communities and states defying his immigration policies playing out in federal court. Opponents to Trump’s policies argue it’s illegal for him to impose punishment.

Ganim and Police Chief AJ Perez say they will not waste limited resources helping the federal government force Trump immigration policies on undocumented immigrants. At the same time Ganim’s not prone to piss off a president who keeps score on the most mundane matters. Ganim and Trump first met 25 years ago when Trump eyed Bridgeport for potential development. Ganim’s hoping that relationship pays off in federal infrastructure investments to the city.

Full agenda here.



  1. Knock it off Joey G., you’re not even an afterthought in that mentally challenged man’s mind. To any City Council member who might read this, some of you did the “right thing” at the last meeting, do it again, vote for Bridgeport to be declared a “Sanctuary City.”

      1. Jesus was homeless and an undocumented immigrant?
        What’s your next comment, a sanctuary city brought him back to life after he died on the cross? Throw in Bridgeport has a chance to save the next undocumented immigrate Jesus that comes along but you have to be a sanctuary city,

  2. “Welcoming’ rather than ‘Sanctuary’?

    Before a vote is taken, every council member should be required to explain the difference.

    They will all be beating their chests and declaring victory.

    All in favor? Aye! Motion to adjourn.

    Let’s celebrate. Everyone have their stipend debit card?

    Pandering baloney.

    1. I think “Welcoming City” is a very appealing term. I think that the language put into the document protects any undocumented individual from our city police investigating them for deportation. Our city has many issues to deal with. I think our council members dealt with this issue and now it’s time to move on.

      Ron Mackey, Jesus as not an immigrant. Jesus was really not homeless. He was born into a well to do family and had a career as a carpenter. I know, people forget that he was a hard working man. He was born in the same country he died in. I guess that is the Jewish version. He was a well educated man as well as a physical laboror.

      As a Christian- a practicing Christian. The term welcoming city would be most accepted and appreciated. Hats off to the council members that thoughfully put the verbage into the document that in affect makes us a sanctuary city without necessarily becoming the target of this idiot President!

        1. Hey Ron, According to the Pope, it is not a smelly feces laden stable with animals. They were traveling to Bethlehem. So the Holiday Inn was booked. Joesph was a successful man and certainly could have afforded a Hotel room if there was one available.

          Back to welcoming city, I think if you asked what would Jesus do? He would choose Welcoming city status and move on to more important issues that plague a welfare city where the School system sucks and 1/2 of the residents are in need of social services. He would make people work for the money and teach them so they could eat for a lifetime. He would remind us that 50 years ago it was the churches and synagogues that provided help for the hungry and homeless. There was no section 8, food stamps and welfare. I think that he would be appauled that housing for the poor is being created at 400,000 per unit while Veterens are homeless living in the streets with mental problems . And one last thing– About Jesus a smart Jewish man that was a carpenter that become the leader of one of the popular religions in the world. I should remind you that his horrible death on the cross was as painful to him as it was for the countless thousands of Romans and Jews that died on the cross the same way. Countless thousands nailed to a cross some for minor offenses. It was a Roman thing!

          Jesus had a home and he took care of Mary later in life. There were no part time jobs and social benefits. She did not receive a social security benefit every month. Her husband was a successful man . Just saying!

      1. Steven, I’m confused. I’m sure we have all seen those Welcome to the City of Bridgeport signs strategically place near the borders of Bridgeport. What does this official designation means? Does it mean that the above mentioned welcome signs were not intended for or applies to illegal immigrants crossing the Bridgeport border? As far as I can remember, Bridgeport has always been a welcoming city and there is wasn’t a need for any council resolution. Tom White is accurate in describing this as “Pandering baloney.” Do notice that the welcoming resolution does not state that ICE Agents are not welcome in Bridgeport.

        “Ganim and Police Chief AJ Perez say they will not waste limited resources helping the federal government force Trump immigration policies on undocumented immigrants.” The main reason here is a lack or resources or money to be specific. What happens if Trump says to Joe Ganim, “Welcoming City? That sounds like Pandering baloney to me. I’ll tell you what I’ll do. I understand that the Democrats in Connecticut have really fucked up the state’s finances and you don’t have the money to help Immigration authorities. We will pay for the cost of Police overtime and other expenses.”
        “Opponents to Trump’s policies argue it’s illegal for him to impose punishment.” It’s not illegal for Trump to appropriate money to accomplish his goals.

  3. Re statement above: “Opponents to Trump’s policies argue it’s illegal for him to impose punishment.”

    It should be noted that at least one of those on record opposing Trump’s threats to cut off federal funding to sanctuary jurisdictions is a FEDERAL JUDGE.

    A federal judge ruled that Trump’s order was illegal — because a president cannot place conditions on federal funding, only Congress can.

    In response to that ruling, the CT Post Editorial Board acknowledged this:

    More workable immigration laws are needed, but threats to withhold federal grants to communities is neither the proper — nor the legal — way to do it.


    That federal judge’s ruling echoes the earlier opinions of two Yale Law School graduates and prominent elected leaders in CT– Senator Blumenthal and Hartford Mayor Bronin.




    And like Blumenthal and Bronin, all 20 of our City Council are Democrats.

    The 2016 Democratic Party platform states:
    “We must … defend against those who would … denigrate immigrants. Those immigrants already living in the United States, who are assets to their communities and contribute so much to our country, should be incorporated completely into our society through legal processes that give meaning to our national motto: E Pluribus Unum.”

    2016 Democratic Party Platform July 21, 2016

    I hope that Bridgeport could match Hartford and New Haven in honoring its immigrant communities — documented and undocumented — and our Constitution and our NATION, and show some courage by standing up and saying “Not on my watch. Not in my city. I won’t let the Trump administration use baseless fear-mongering to drive a wedge between our immigrant communities and our police. Not in my SANCTUARY CITY.”

  4. Pete, citing the Democrat party platform and pointing out that all 20 of the Bridgeport city council members are democrats suggests that they are being obedient democrats.

    Unless the city council adopts language in an ordinance, it is simply a statement that sunsets at the end of this council.

    I can see it now. The council chambers packed with liberals and agency representatives who provide taxpayer-funded services to ‘immigrants’ will applaud the ‘vote’ which will be followed by pandering statements from city council members.

    Is the city council working on a statement calling on Connecticut’s members of congress to take the lead in creating long overdue immigration reform? Or, are they satisfied to simply join the ‘resistance’?

    1. Tom,

      In the big picture, Congress’ failure to pass comprehensive immigration reform over the past several decades is not something that Bridgeport can or must resolve now through our local police.

      I think it will be very unlikely that our Congressional delegation will get anywhere with the McConnell-Ryan-led Congress or the current occupant of the White House on immigration reform. If events prove me wrong, I’ll gladly admit it and buy you a beer or root beer.

      I typically don’t point to the Democratic national platform or prominent elected Democrats in CT to build an argument on federal policy. But I typically don’t find myself in the times we’re living in. Furthermore, in this situation, for our city where the proportion of registered Democrats to Republicans is greater than 11 to 1 … with 20 Democrats out of 20 on City Council … and a Democratic mayor who stated back in Jan that he’s “hoping some of that residual relationship [he claims to have with Trump] will benefit the city” (source http://www.ctpost.com/local/article/Ganim-to-attend-Trump-inaugural-Boughton-declines-10853504.php) … and where immigrants and minorities are not going away (good! they’re a significant part of our city’s vitality and diversity)… I researched how some widely respected cities and elected officials are responding to this issue. An aside: I was surprised to find when mayor of New York City, Giuliani supported “sanctuary” policy.

      What do I mean when I say “sanctuary” policy?

      FIRST: Our police do not and will not act as an arm of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
      SECOND: We do not and will not target families and individuals in our community because of their immigration status.
      FINALLY: We do not and will not shield from justice — any violent offender or person who poses a serious threat — for any reason — certainly not based on immigration status.

      From what I know in speaking with members of the community, this issue is very important to the estimated 15,000 undocumented immigrants in Bridgeport. They are living in fear more than ever.

      One related example from Houston:

      “Since the presidential election, there has been a sharp downturn in reports of sexual assault and domestic violence among Latinos throughout the country… For example, the number of Latinos reporting rapes in Houston has fallen by more than 40 percent this year from the same period last year. The drop, according to Houston’s Police Chief, “Looks like the beginnings of people not reporting crime.”
      (source https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/30/us/immigrants-deportation-sexual-abuse.html?_r=0)

      How is that beneficial to society? To the police? A University of Chicago survey found, nationally, that a majority of POLICE CHIEFS are in favor of Sanctuary jurisdictions. (source http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-sanctuary-cities-trump-20170202-story.html)

      BTW, Houston’s mayor says his city is a “welcoming city.” Houston is not a “Sanctuary City” officially. “

      (source http://www.houstonchronicle.com/lifestyle/calle-houston/article/Sylvester-Turner-on-Houston-and-the-attack-on-10918281.php?t=b679052047438d9cbb)

  5. I don’t understand how this issue of “sanctuary city etc” hijacked all the other major issues which The Community of Bridgeport is facing. Something is wrong here. What good is being a sanctuary city(or whatever else you want to call it) if people can’t find decent jobs or the people who are seeking sanctuary are actually being taken advantage of and are facing illegal and immoral work situations. Some people are claiming to fight for a better Bridgeport but walking away from better governance,walking away from creating a larger Tax Base(Grand List), walking away from making changes on the City Council (this coming November) means that some people have lost sight of the best strategy of turning around the Community of Bridgeport.

    1. Frank,

      In a city like Bridgeport, there are always competing interests.
      Nonetheless, your assertion that “something is wrong here” seems to miss the connections of immigrant communities’ issues and those affecting our whole city.

      · Economies are stronger in sanctuary jurisdictions. (Source: https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/immigration/reports/2017/01/26/297366/the-effects-of-sanctuary-policies-on-crime-and-the-economy/)

      · Crime is lower in sanctuary jurisdictions.
      (source: http://www.citylab.com/crime/2017/01/sanctuary-cities-are-safer-and-more-productive/514508/)

      “We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community…Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own.” – Cesar Chavez

      1. Sorry,Pete..but respectfully..I disagree with you. I have one simple cliche/adage to answer your statistics etc. “A rising tide will lift all boats.” We don’t have a rising tide in Bridgeport. We have low tide. We are all suffering.

        1. Ok, Frank, yes, a rising tide is essential.
          In the meantime, it’s no help
          for the “tide”
          to run 15,000 Bridgeport community
          members out of the country.
          That will do no good for any “tide” — unless you imagine the vacated homes and jobs to be occuppied overnight, or in short order, by American-born citizens. Seems
          highly unlikely
          and an utter waste of human

          1. Pete,you are certainly right in condemning the “Operation Wetback” tactics of the Federal Government and the attitude and hostile atmosphere created by the Trump administration. However,as we speak,people are being forced out from Bridgeport due to the rent increases caused by the property tax increase,people are “trying@ to sell their houses for the same reason but are only getting fire sale bids,people are moving out due to a failing(real or perceived) School System) and foreclosures are on the rise. In fact,people seeking sanctuary in Bridgeport cannot even afford to live in Bridgeport. How are these people going to be helped. Give them a list of food pantries and a schedule for the GBTD COastal Link bus schedule to take them to non- living wage jobs on the Gold Coast. Who will stand up and speak for this exodus from Bridgeport.

  6. Matthew 8:20 King James Version (KJV)

    And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.

    1. Jesus spoke many times in the Bible about the poor and the homeless. 

      Matthew 25:40-45

      40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers,[a] you did it to me.’
      41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ 45 Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’

  7. A “sanctuary” is a place that is sought by someone in trouble….of one type or another. A “welcome” is sought between individuals and fosters further communication and engagement. Fear is not necessarily a part of it.

    In our community at this time there is too much fear and it exists in too many quarters….
    there are people who came to the US believing in the “land of opportunity” phrase that we like to use. To the extent that there exist 14 million such “folks” in the country today or 15,000 in our City argues for severe impatience with our legislative bodies who have a responsibility and an opportunity and are not earning their pay in this regard.

    Are we a welcoming City to youth with our operation of underfunded schools that lead to a large percentage neither graduating from high school in a timely fashion nor scoring at appropriate grade levels to secure an adult future with more potential than what they were born into. Yes, there are many exceptions, but look at the numbers, exactly the way you would in making an investment of your hard earned dollars into a store of value for the future. How are we doing as a “welcoming” community in this regard?

    Is our City Hall really afraid of the loss of US funding? What specific dollars are at risk? (I have asked that question before and no one has provided an answer. Does that mean, such dollars are not at risk, like Title I? Or does it mean that no one knows, but it is fun to parrot what others say?)

    Fear of losing a job, fear of being evicted for speaking up about what is ailing us, fear of violence in the streets, and where do we gain a sense of respite, of basic security, of honest to goodness TRUTH?? For each individual that is a personal question. If all are at a loss, upon reflection, then we have a community problem, don’t we? Time will tell.

  8. Lets give Jesus a break here. We have a bunch of liberal crybabies. Here is what I worry about: 1. Seniors that are unable to keep paying their taxes. 2. Young families having the same problems.3. Board of Education monies spent on illegal aliens. What is the numbers?
    What other services will tax payers have to pay because of illegals. None I Hope

      1. Part of our problems are people that believe what they hear coming from the pulpit every Sunday. People go home think about the sermon and return to their normal was of life. the reverends’ start their weeks off by bullshiting with each other and really doing nothing. Let me stop here and say YES I believe in God and what he teaches us. God does not teach us to take a guitar go to the corner and start playing and earning money Here is how it works” A person determines he/she will be successful and they start working their was to the top. Some make it to the top , some make it to the middle and some do not make it. Those that don’t make it with a great job and other thing may have made it a different may but they made lt/

  9. is it a Sanctuary City or a sanctuary city that Trump is opposed to? What’s in a name.
    If a Sanctuary City is illegal or can reduce aid to Police Dept. but a sanctuary city is fine even though it accomplishes the same result I really don’t think Trump would find that satisfactory.
    As a matter of fact if Bridgeport become a Welcoming City with all of the same strings attached maybe Trump will come after Bridgeport to make an example of us.
    But if Bridgeport is a Welcoming City and does nothing to aid and protect the undocumented workers well then shame on the City Council for approving this nonsense.

    1. Bubba, please don’t tell me you’re buying into possible consequences imposed on Bridgeport by Trump if Bridgeport is declared a sanctuary city. With all Trump is facing, including the possibility of impeachment if these investigations go where they may may possibility go, does anyone really believe Bridgeport will be singled out all face retribution. Stop this conversation, it’s silly!

  10. Here is a typical welcoming for new residents of Bridgeport weather they be whit, black ot Hispanic plus it is my understanding there are 89 dialects spoken in Bridgeport, FUK YOU

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