Mayor Jorge Elorza officially announced his commitment to protecting residents of Providence from persecution under a Donald Trump presidency, and revealed that the Community Safety Act he is introducing to the city council will contain new language.
Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza reiterated his intention to protect city residents, including the immigrant community from fear and being persecuted under Trump’s presidency. At a press conference held in his office at Providence City Hall, Elorza said that law-abiding residents, including undocumented immigrants, will be able to feel safe in the city, regardless of “inconsequential civil infractions.” Protecting American values at the local level, says Elorza, “is more important than it’s ever been.”
Elorza said that he has heard reports of kids in school asking their teachers if their Latino friends will be deported, and another situation in which a child asked their teacher if their friends mother will have to now get a divorce because she is married to another woman.
Elorza said that he has heard from the immigrant community, the reproductive rights community and the environmental justice community who are concerned about “what may happen come January 20th.”
When asked if his stand against Trump will affect needed federal funds from coming to the city, Elorza said “We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it,” adding that Providence is now part of a coalition of dozens of large, medium and small cities standing against the president-elect. Elorza draws some comfort from recent Trump statements that indicate that the incoming administration will not be targeting law-abiding immigrants, but only criminals.
Providence is joining the ranks of cities such as New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Chicago, and “dozens of others who have made it clear that we will not sacrifice a single resident and we will continue to protect our communities,” said Elorza.
On the Community Safety Act, Elorza revealed that the version he is submitting for city council approval will be different from the one already introduced. “We’ve been working on the Community Safety Act for about a year now, and we’ve been coming closer and closer together on the language for it.” Elorza plans to pass a version of the CSA before Trump’s inauguration.
Elorza also said that no other mayors of cities and towns in Rhode Island have reached out to him and that state officials have also been silent so far regarding his new initiatives.
Near the end of Elorza’s press conference Public Safety Commissioner Steven Paré explained ICE detention policy