Mayor Joe Hogsett, faith leaders discuss immigration protections at IndyCAN rally

Posted at 6:58 PM, Feb 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-14 00:27:17-05

INDIANAPOLIS – In response to a community’s plea for protection and in light of several executive orders put in place by President Trump prohibiting immigrants to travel to the US, Mayor Joe Hogsett spoke to a room of thousands of people on Indianapolis’ plans to keep immigrants safe.

The event, hosted by Indianapolis Congregation Action Network, attracted thousands of people from all over the city, as lines wrapped around St. Philip Neri Catholic Church on Indy’s east side.

Mayor Hogsett said while Indianapolis cannot be named a sanctuary or safe harbor city, due to law prohibiting this action, the city will not spend any resources on anything that is deemed non-constitutional by a court.

It is illegal in Indiana to set up a sanctuary city or to prohibit federal immigration officials from doing their jobs.

“We are here because not all families feel at home here, and that my friends, is unacceptable,” Hogsett told the crowd.

When asked if he would defy state law to make Indianapolis a sanctuary city, Hogsett said he will follow state law that was imposed in 2011 that states no city, city official or elected official can establish a sanctuary city.

“We’re different here in Indiana because in 2011 the Indiana General Assembly passed a law that essentially prohibits any mayor from any city in Indiana to declare what is known as a safe harbor,” said Hogsett. “That’s why I think the faith community here today spoke eloquently about churches being safe harbors and sanctuaries for refugees, immigrants and other marginalized people, which is perfectly appropriate.”

People at Sunday's event also asked Marion County Sheriff John Layton not to enforce ICE detainers. ICE detainers are what the immigration system uses to hold an undocumented person who is stopped by police.

In a statement released Monday, Sheriff Layton said he will continue cooperating with immigration enforcers as required by state law.

The Marion County Sheriff did not attend Sunday's event due to pending litigation involving the MCSO cooperation with ICE.

Layton also said that he does not have the authority to declare Marion County a "sanctuary county."



The IndyCan movement said about 30 churches are planning to provide sanctuaries for those who are undocumented.