MUSKEGON COUNTY, Mich. — In August a "Welcoming County" resolution was tabled by Muskegon County Commissioners. The resolution appeared on the board's Sept. 10, agenda. But late Tuesday morning the resolution was removed from the agenda.
The resolution focused on making the county "welcoming" to immigrants. It was introduced by Muskegon County Commissioner Marcia Hovey-Wright, a Democrat representing the county's second-district.
Hovey-Wright says the resolution was removed from the agenda and referred to committee so it could be reviewed by the county's legal council.
"It basically says we want to be welcoming to all people," said Hovey-Wright.
A first draft of the resolution included "immigrant" Hovey-Wright says a second draft added the word "legal" before "immigrant" to gain broader support from the board.
Critics say the non-binding resolution is the first step in an effort to make Muskegon County a sanctuary county.
"Nobody has thought about it, talked about it on the commission," said Hovey-Wright. "It's just about being a welcoming county."
But Muskegon County Commissioner Zach Lahring, a Republican representing the county's fifth-district believes the resolution was placed on the agenda as a first-step towards the county becoming a sanctuary county where undocumented immigrants could receive protection from federal immigration law.
"Very deceptive," said Lahring. "We're already a welcoming community, Muskegon already welcome immigrants," he added.
Commissioner Hovey-Wright hopes a final draft of the resolution is ready for the board to consider later this year.
The resolution says Muskegon County is committed to build a welcoming, diverse, and neighborly atmosphere in our community, where all are welcomed, accepted and fully integrated.
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