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People In Traverse City Taking The Streets In Protest Of Becoming A Sanctuary City

The concern of Traverse City becoming a sanctuary city had some people taking to the streets Thursday night.

It has been a controversial topic for weeks.

An Ad Hoc Committee was formed to research and discuss the possibility of becoming a sanctuary city, more friendly to illegal immigrants.

Opponents say they feel like the Mayor and City Commissioners aren’t listening to them.

9&10’s Whitney Amann has our top story with those who want their voices heard

“We need to have a march because we care about this community,” said Heather Cerone.

Dozens of people marched in Traverse City Thursday with banners and signs held high.

“We’re taking a stand and we have the right to take a stand and we are called names, we are called racist and every other name because we don’t want illegals we want legal immigration,” said Elaina Salerno.

They say they don’t feel like their voices are being heard as the city considers its immigration sanctuary status.

“We don’t think the Mayor, the Human Rights Commission or the City Commission were hearing us on how we need to keep this a safe and lawful community and making it a sanctuary city is not going to make it a lawful community,” said Cerone.

We spoke to the Ad Hoc Committee chair who says everyone is being “presumptuous” and the Ad Hoc Committee simply wants to gather information.

“I believe the people that come into the United States should come legally, I know it’s hard, I know it’s expensive but the people that have done it are really kind of upset about the fact that people get in and kind of skate in and it’s kind of sad,” said Daniel Lecouteur.

Those against becoming a sanctuary city say they are fearful of more crime, violence and human trafficking coming to the city.

While supporters say there should be no hate or fear and people have the wrong idea of illegal immigration.

“We want to know who’s in our communities and we will embrace everyone that comes in legally,” said Salerno.

“We the citizens are taking a stand for a safe city,” said Cerone.

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