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Lebanon, New Hampshire, putting ‘sanctuary city’ on ballot

LEBANON, N.H. (AP) — Residents of Lebanon, New Hampshire, will vote in March on an ordinance that would make it an immigration “sanctuary city.”
City councilors voted 8-1 Wednesday to include what it calls the Welcoming Ordinance on the March ballot.
It would limit city employees and officials from working with or sharing immigration-related information with federal immigration authorities.
The city’s lawyer questioned a section that would require the city to notify residents when immigration officials are present, noting that it could be considered obstructing federal authorities.
Lebanon signed on in 2018 to a three-year federal community policing grant in 2018, the Lebanon Valley News reported. The grant covers 75% of two officers’salaries and requires police to share “information regarding citizenship or immigration status” with federal authorities.
An ordinance could hurt the city’s chances to acquire federal grants in the future, Police Chief Richard Mello said.
Karen Liot-Hill, councilor-at-large, said a concern raised by the council was a provision preventing city employees from profiling, collecting or retaining information based on race, citizenship or immigration status, New Hampshire Pubic Radio reported.
Liot-Hill said polling stations “actually have a duty to ask about people’s citizenship status and to retain and collect that information.”
If voters approve the ordinance, the council would have to work with its supporters to address the concerns before it goes into effect.