Chesapeake City Council adopts alternative to sanctuary city resolution

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — Chesapeake City Council supported a resolution Tuesday that will allow it to avoid voting on whether or not it is a ‘sanctuary city’. Instead, council members voted 8-1 in support of a resolution that affirms the city supports the United States and Virginia constitutions.

The original resolution, requested by council member Robert Ike, stated the city “shall continue to enforce federal immigration laws and regulations and shall not adopt sanctuary city policies.”

Council member Roland Davis sponsored the alternate resolution, which does not contain any mention of federal immigration policies, and instead states “the Council of the City of Chesapeake supports the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia.”

The language in the alternate resolution comes from the oath of office taken by council members, and does not imply any changes to current law enforcement or city policies, Davis said on the phone.

Ike, the only council member to vote against the alternate, was not immediately available for comment.

The alternate resolution effectively killed the original, according to council member Dr. Ella Ward.

“It wasn’t necessary to have the sanctuary city resolution,” Ward said. “We certainly are not going to use resources to enforce measures that did not need to be enforced, and that would include stopping people because of their name or nationality, that’s not what we are about.”

The vote comes as local governments face pressure under President Donald Trump’s agenda to enforce federal immigration laws. If a locality is labeled a sanctuary city, it risks losing federal funding. Trump’s administration, however, has not said how it would define whether a city is a sanctuary or not.

10 On Your Side investigated whether any of Hampton Roads’ seven cities qualify as sanctuary cities, and how each interacts with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents.

Special Investigation: Immigration’s Due Process Dispute