City Council Vote On Church Sanctuary Postponed In Springfield, Mass.

Apr 3, 2018

A special City Council meeting in Springfield, Massachusetts, that had been scheduled for Tuesday was postponed.

The planned meeting would have centered around a vote that could bar city employees from interfering with South Congregational Church’s offering sanctuary to Gisella Collazo, a Peruvian woman who federal authorities ordered deported last month.

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno, citing fears that the city could lose federal funding, ordered an inspection of the church, and is seeking to revoke its tax-exempt status.

But City Council President Orlando Ramos said he doesn’t believe Springfield can be faulted for the vote.

“Even if that were the case that the federal government can strip municipalities of their federal funding b/c of providing sanctuary, we’re not the ones providing sanctuary at this point,” Ramos said, noting that it’s the church accommodating Collazo. “So there isn’t anything to worry about.”

Ramos said he postponed a special meeting because not enough councilors could attend.

The vote is now scheduled to be taken next Monday at 7 p.m. during a regular meeting of the City Council.