'Freedom city'? Going beyond 'sanctuary,' Austin, Texas, vows to curtail arrests

June 19, 2018
The Los Angeles Times

Amid the controversy over sanctuary cities, Austin this month took its fight against strict immigration law enforcement a step further by declaring itself to be the first “freedom city” in Texas. City Council members unanimously passed two resolutions last week that will restrict police attempts to question immigrants about their status and curtail arrests for nonviolent crimes.

Grassroots Leadership, an Austin nonprofit that pushed the initiative, said in a statement that the council’s move was an “important first step.”

“This is a long-term struggle and we are in part one of what is actually a decathlon,” said Rebecca Sanchez, a representative of Grassroots Leadership. “We’re committed to fighting for a city where we redefine safety for ourselves and not through badges, and where we determine how our communities thrive.”