Hillsborough diversity council votes 'yes' on sanctuary status

- After nearly two hours of public comment, the Hillsborough County’s Diversity Advisory Council voted to make a recommendation to the County Commission to explore “sanctuary” status.

In other words, officials wouldn’t turn over illegal immigrants for deportation. It would also defy President Trump’s recent executive order and could lead to a loss of federal funding.

Nearly 50 people from different backgrounds spoke Wednesday night.

“I currently own my own busines.s I have 40 employees. I’m an active member in my community and over 40 organizations, but I am a refugee,”  said one woman.

“I’m here to ask for your support and to begin the process of declaring Hillsborough County and the city of Tampa a sanctuary city and a place of refuge for so many people,” said another, fighting back tears.

The idea was met with strong opposition as well.

“Sanctuary city status for Hillsborough County is a terrible idea,” one man said.

Wednesday night’s vote is only a recommendation. The Board of County Commissioners would have the final say on sanctuary status. It’s unclear what, if any steps the commission will take.

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