Mejia Seeks Clear 'Sanctuary City' Definition

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Boston is designated a sanctuary city—but what does that mean?

It depends on who you ask.

Now, newly-elected Boston City Councilor Julia Mejia, the first Afro-Latina ever elected to the council, is looking for some clarity.

She's calling for a public hearing to collect input on the definition of sanctuary safe spaces, and then to put a policy in place so everyone is on the same page.

"We're hearing from the Boston Police Department, Boston Public Schools, the teacher's union," she said. "We're hearing from families that are living the realities, who are undocumented, so that as a collective, we can define for ourselves, because there's a lot of confusion out there."

Mejia decided to call for the hearing after it was discovered that Boston Public Schools made information available to ICE agents about 135 students. Schools in the city are designated as sanctuary safe spaces.

Boston Superintendent: Students Won't Be Exposed To ICE - Thumbnail Image

Boston Superintendent: Students Won't Be Exposed To ICE

Mejia said actions like that have an effect.

"Right now we have the census," Mejia said. "If we're really serious about making sure that everyone is counted, then these sort of incidents don't create safe spaces or create comfort or trust in the government to want to fill out that form and get counted. We have to think about how those examples are impacting peoples' ability to trust in government."

WBZ NewsRadio's Kim Tunnicliffe (@KimWBZ) reports

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