Hamilton is considering becoming Canada’s second sanctuary city. But reaction to the idea is revealing an undercurrent that’s upsetting at least one member of city council.
Sanctuary cities ensure that municipal and municipally-funded services are accessible to residents without full immigration status documents. The Hamilton sanctuary city initiative was pushing for the status — and filed 150 letters of endorsement from Hamiltonians in support of the cause. But after Councillor Sam Merulla posted a story about it on his Facebook page, he says he was more saddened than shocked when it came to the anti-immigrant comments that were being posted on his page: “Having been born and raised in Hamilton, I’ve always considered Hamiltonians to be very open minded and welcoming. This whole city, province and country was built on inviting new Canadians. And some of the language and some of the opinions wasn’t consistent to what this city is all about.”
Merulla points out the people getting the services need to be employed and have proper documentation before they can be eligible. So they are not taking away from other citizens. He also said the move is a way to show that Hamilton is a welcoming city. Toronto is Canada`s first sanctuary city.