BART Jumps Aboard the Sanctuary City Train

Move over sanctuary cities and counties. There’s a new movement in town.

Amid fear and consternation over President Donald Trump’s immigration policies, the Bay Area Rapid Transit system is considering declaring itself a ‘sanctuary’ for undocumented immigrants in transit.

What exactly does that mean? That depends on the results of an investigation conducted by BART. The agency has directed staff to study a policy that would limit cooperation of BART police with immigration authorities.

If such a policy is ultimately adopted, it would be a national first. While a growing number of cities are declaring themselves ‘sanctuaries’ for immigrants in the country illegally, no public transit agency has given itself such a designation so far.

“We need to know what it [the policy] would mean legally, politically and financially,” said BART board director Lateefah Simon. “It’s important to understand what we would be putting forward to the board. I personally feel like it’s the right thing to do.”


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