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Cities choosing ‘welcoming’ over ‘sanctuary’ for immigrants

A rural town in south-central Idaho that’s become a hotbed of refugee support and opposition has opted to take a softer stance in affirming its role as a welcoming city rather than adopt policies defying U.S. immigration officials.

Twin Falls City Council members on Monday approved a declaration of a “neighborly community” after spending weeks listening to mixed public testimony. Twin Falls is one of two refugee relocation centers in Idaho.

The council’s decision is similar to dozens of cities across the United States also approving resolutions stating their existing practices regarding immigrants, while stopping short of declaring themselves a sanctuary.

The term “sanctuary city” has no legal definition and varies in application, but it generally refers to jurisdictions that do not cooperate with federal immigration laws.

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