PATERSON - The United States Senate voted Tuesday to oppose a bill sponsored by Republicans that called for cracking down on “sanctuary cities” that help undocumented immigrants.
The bill has become quite controversial, and many Democrats opposed to the legislation have dubbed it the “Donald Trump Bill” after Trump’s controversial public comments about immigration.
“We are witnessing the most overtly nativist and xenophobic campaign in modern U.S. history. We’ve hit a new low,” says Sen. Robert Menendez, who has been vocal in his opposition to the bill.
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In Paterson, the issue of immigration was a timely topic, as the city swore in 35 people as American citizens.
Many towns in New Jersey have been finding new ways for people who may not be citizens yet to more easily acclimate to living in the state. Several cities are doing this by issuing municipal identification cards.
Paterson Mayor Joey Torres announced he will soon be pushing for the program in his city.
“This is not about our nationality. This is all about the greater good of mankind. So your true nationality is mankind,” Mayor Torres says.
Junior Dedios was one of the new citizens sworn in as an American at the ceremony. He says he still has friends and family who wish to become citizens and he hopes they can someday.
“I have actually accomplished becoming a citizen,” he says. “I feel free.”
The Stop Sanctuary Cities Act was defeated on a 54-45 vote. Even if it passed, President Barack Obama had threatened to veto it.