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At the February 8, 2017 Town Board meeting, a resolution was passed affirming the current practices of the Bethlehem Police Department and of other Town Offices with regard to citizenship, which is provided in its entirety below.
The resolution DOES:
State that Bethlehem is committed to adhering to the US Constitution, NYS Constitution, and all state and federal laws, while affirmatively embracing our heritage as a nation of immigrants with a moral imperative to assist refugees and support human rights.
Establish formally as town policy that crime victims or witnesses will not be asked about their citizenship or immigration status unless necessary to a criminal investigation or to protect public safety; this is current practice of the Bethlehem Police Department and other local police agencies.
Specify that other town services will continue to be provided without asking about citizenship or immigration status except where otherwise required by federal, state or local laws (for example, when the town or volunteers are providing assistance with applications for state or federal programs).
Commit to responding with appropriate priority and urgency to Instances of persecution or threats to individuals, groups or organizations targeted because of national origin, immigration status, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or any other legally protected status.
The resolution DOES NOT:
Change any current town government procedures.
Proclaim that Bethlehem is a sanctuary city or town.
Alter any aspects of Immigration Law, eliminate employer verification practices required since 1986, or change enforcement procedures.
Jeopardize any Federal Aid
Further information on the resolution, including memoranda from the Supervisor, Chief of Police and the Department of Senior Services, and a link to video of the February 8th meeting and testimony are available HERE.