Hamilton: A Sanctuary City
The Hamilton City Council just declared Hamilton to be a sanctuary city, meaning that undocumented newcomer residents can access public services such as healthcare, social housing, food banks and education through a “don’t ask, don’t tell policy” without fear of deportation.
The city report also calls on federal and provincial governments to review their programs and policies to offer more support to immigrants without full status. Hamilton will also develop a public education campaign to raise awareness about the issues faced by undocumented immigrants.
Hamilton is the second sanctuary city in Canada, following Toronto, which became a sanctuary city last year. This is a meaningful declaration, as it recognizes the large population of immigrants and refugees in Hamilton and the immense contribution that they make.