The current wave of anti-immigrant sentiment is a matter of grave concern to me, both constitutionally and morally. As mayor, I will make it a priority to consider the impacts of city policies and actions on all residents, regardless of immigration status. I will look for opportunities to be proactive on this issue, such as the resolutions I sponsored as a former Council Member to provide residents with municipally issued identification cards, ensuring proof of identity needed to access many basic services. I will also promote efforts like Avance, a multi-generational program that serves many families new to Austin who do not use English as their primary language at home, providing information about early childhood development and ways to become involved in the community, such as getting a library card. As a founder of the Austin/Travis County Hate Crimes Task Force, I pledge to continue my efforts to foster open dialogue about hate and discrimination and strengthen the bonds of our community through prevention, response and restoration. Providing interpretation services at City Council meetings is also essential to ensuring that all residents have a voice in our local government.
As a Council Member, I supported all efforts to keep ICE officials out of our public jails, hospitals, schools, transit services and other public spaces to the fullest extent allowed by law, and will continue to do so as mayor. As a top priority, I will direct the City Manager to ensure our local police do not cooperate with ICE to the fullest extent allowed by our charter. I will also order a comprehensive report on past requests from, or past cooperation with, ICE and a means to track future requests. I am further committed to voting against measures to promote any form of cooperation with ICE as allowed by law, including the 287(g) program.
Austin must be a welcoming place for people of all backgrounds and nationalities. As mayor, I will work with my Council colleagues and the community at large to ensure all residents feel safe and at home in our community.