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City of Cambridge

Joint Statement of Cambridge Mayor E. Denise Simmons and City Manager Louis A. DePasquale Regarding Cambridge as a Sanctuary City

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The recent national political climate has generated considerable concern and anxiety on the part of many Cambridge residents, especially members of our immigrant communities. The City of Cambridge wants to clearly state to our community that it is committed to supporting and promoting the safety, health, and well-being of all of its residents. As a Sanctuary City, Cambridge affirms the basic human rights and dignity of every human being and provides education, health and other services to all residents of Cambridge, regardless of their immigration status.

“The City of Cambridge has been a Sanctuary City since April 1985, when the City Council first took steps to protect and support refugees fleeing from political violence and human rights violations in El Salvador, Guatemala and Haiti,” said Cambridge Mayor E. Denise Simmons. “In 1999, the City Council expanded that support to all residents, regardless of immigration status, and has regularly reaffirmed that over the last 20 years. Today, the City of Cambridge remains just as committed to all of our residents as we have been over the past 31 years.”

The City provides support and resources ranging from a Commission on Immigrant Rights and Citizenship to programming at the Cambridge Community Learning Center to a Community Engagement Team that works to connect hard to reach populations with City services.

“Every Cambridge resident – regardless of their status – is encouraged to seek and obtain assistance from the many resources available to the Cambridge community. Cambridge remains a welcoming community for all,” said Cambridge City Manager Louis A. DePasquale.

Furthermore, a core principle of the Cambridge Police Department’s Community Policing philosophy is that all community members are encouraged to seek and obtain police assistance and protection, regardless of their specific immigration and/or documentation status. The enforcement of the nation’s civil immigration laws are the primary responsibility of the federal government and the Cambridge Police Department does not undertake immigration-related investigations and does not routinely inquire into the specific immigration status of any person encountered during normal police operations.

As Mayor and City Manager of Cambridge, we remain committed to the City’s Sanctuary City status and the services and support that we provide to the Cambridge Community.

Mayor E. Denise Simmons

City Manager Louis A. DePasquale


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The full text of the Cambridge Police Department’s Secure Communities & ICE Detainers policy is available at www.cambridgepolice.org/Publications. Past City Council Policy Orders are available at www.cambridgema.gov/CityCouncil.

Last Updated: 3/5/2017

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