Park City is ‘in effect, a sanctuary city, I hope,’ candidate says
Ed Parigian, a Park City Council candidate, described Park City as “in effect, a sanctuary city, I hope” during a forum on Tuesday as he responded to a question regarding the upcoming decennial census.
The moderator of the Park City unit of the League of Women Voters-sponsored forum asked the candidates about the response rate of the census. Parigian provided the most notable of the responses as the other candidates mentioned ideas like wider publicity for the counting and the possibility of a coalition involving not-for-profit organizations.
Parigian made the comment regarding a sanctuary city as he described a concern that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents may follow the census takers next year as people are counted.
In an interview afterward, Parigian explained he wants all residents to answer the census. That might not occur if an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent is “metaphorically, right behind the tree” when someone answers the door for a census taker, Parigian said.
Parigian, more broadly, also said the Park City Police Department should not assist immigration officials.
“We won’t allow the federal authorities to use our law enforcement in any way, in any immigration enforcement way,” Parigian said in an interview, adding, “Park City law enforcement won’t cooperate with the federal authorities … to arrest people.”
He also said: “If ICE wants to arrest somebody, they would need to do it on their own.”
Parigian acknowledged, though, the Police Department and City Hall would cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement if “there’s a serious crime, of course.”
The 2020 census has not received widespread publicity in Park City, but there is expected to be discussions at City Hall and elsewhere as the count nears. There has long been a concern that Latinos are undercounted during the census.
The census numbers are used for a wide range of functions, including, crucially, drawing congressional and legislative boundaries. Many government-funding formulas are also based on the census numbers.
Parigian’s comments were made shortly before the Park City Council is expected to consider signing the Utah Compact on Immigration, which covers issues like law enforcement and the federal nature of immigration policies. The elected officials could discuss the compact at a meeting in August.
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Park City’s elected officials next week are scheduled to receive a briefing about the upcoming 2020 census. The census results are used for a variety of purposes, including funding formulas and crafting legislative and congressional districts boundaries.