Not Sanctuary, Not Welcoming: Twin Falls Mulls "Neighborly City" Designation

May 2, 2017

The Twin Falls City Council is weighing a measure to designate the community a "Neighborly City."
Credit goochrules / Flickr

Monday evening in Twin Falls, the city council heard two hours of testimony about a resolution that would declare the community a “Neighborly City.”

The language in the resolution describes Twin Falls as “a community where all residents are welcomed, accepted and given the opportunity to connect with each other without bias.” Out of 28 speakers who shared views on the proposal, 21 spoke in favor of it.

The so-called “Neighborly City” proposal comes as cities like Boise and Ketchum have declared themselves “Welcoming Cities” to refugees and immigrants. Both are softer versions of resolutions passed in some bigger metropolitan cities like Los Angeles and Seattle, designating them as Sanctuary Cities where federal immigration enforcement rules are flouted.

According to the Times News, neither immigrants nor refugees are mentioned in the official language of the Twin Falls proposal.

Councilman Greg Lanting said the resolution is important to combat less than flattering coverage the city has received in recent months over refugee resettlement. However, Twin Falls Vice Mayor Suzanne Hawkins opposes the official designation. She calls it divisive and thinks the council’s time would be better spent on more concrete issues.

The council is expected to vote on the Neighborly City resolution later this month.

For more local news, follow the KBSX newsroom on Twitter @KBSX915

Copyright 2017 Boise State Public Radio