Bozeman will not become a sanctuary city.
This evening, the Bozeman City Commission instead passed a mayoral proclamation declaring Bozeman a “safe, welcoming, and inclusive community,” to the chagrin of a handful of residents. The proclamation reads:
WHEREAS, for more than twenty years the City of Bozeman has passed Resolutions declaring itself to be a welcoming community, an inclusive community and a community that values
WHEREAS, one of the primary functions of our City is providing safety for all; and
WHEREAS, the difficulties and uncertainties of present times have created concerns about our community’s safety and resolve;
THEREFORE, I, Carson Taylor, Mayor of the City of Bozeman, hereby state and proclaim that our City continues to welcome all, continues to be an inclusive community, and continues to thrive in the diversity of experience and backgrounds that populate our City; and I specifically reaffirm that one of our primary purposes is the safety of all persons within our City, and I pledge that the City will continue to protect the safety of all people, regardless of their status.
This sweeping, all-encompassing statement was not meaty enough for some community activists:
‘I recognize that this City Commission is trying to do the right thing by this proclamation, but I find it too bland and insufficient to meet the needs of my heart,’ said organizer Margarita McLarty. ‘And I know that I am not alone in this community.’
‘I want more,’ she continued. ‘I want a community dialogue. I want to see us step up and deal with the issues that are happening now in the country.’
McLarty and several other speakers told commissioners they’re disheartened by the Trump administration’s efforts to crack down on immigration enforcement and want to see the city take a strong stance in opposition.
She and tens of other sanctuary city advocates showed up in force at last week’s commission meeting, urging the city to make the partially symbolic declaration, that would have affirmed the city’s commitment to supporting residents regardless of their immigration status and limited city law enforcement’s cooperation with federal immigration authorities.
McLarty makes a compelling argument: she has a voice, and a heart, and it has needs. How dare local law enforcement cooperate with federal agencies. Moreover, who cares if the Trump administration defunds the City? Surely, the citizens and legal residents of Bozeman would make due somehow. Taking a symbolic stand for
illegal aliens undocumented migrants, at the behest of “tens of people,” is infinitely more important, and would better serve the community, than would continuing to receive heaps of money from the federal government.
Say what you will about some of the “gadflies” who attend City Commission meetings in Great Falls — they’ve got nothin’ on Bozeman.