Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney is under pressure by Democratic activists to make Richmond, Virginia a “sanctuary city.” He did say the city is inclusive of people from all backgrounds, but he has not classified the Commonwealth of Virginia as a sanctuary city. Rallies are being held outside of the federal courthouse to call attention to Stoney's refusal to use the term "sanctuary" when describing Richmond's position on immigration. Activists want the mayor's office and City Council to declare Richmond a sanctuary city that will not enforce federal immigration laws.

To say a city is a sanctuary is often used by those who oppose immigration. Stoney and his office believe President Donald Trump's executive order on January 25 is unconstitutional and un-American. Activists are calling for the new mayor to formally declare Richmond a sanctuary city. Stoney has not yet said those words that activists want to hear.

Not only city

Richmond is not the only place under pressure concerning sanctuary cities. Other cities besides Richmond are joining a national movement to protect immigrants and refugees. Richmond Mayor LeVar Stoney recently signed a document reaffirming his commitment to protect and promote the safety of all residents of the city, no matter what their immigration or refugee status may be.

Stoney is standing his ground that Richmond is a welcoming city for all.

Richmond Police Department

The richmond police department already has a policy in place stating that undocumented residents will be reported to authorities only if they have committed certain criminal offenses. Otherwise, they will not be reported. Police Chief Alfred Durham contends that his department will not ask citizens about their immigration status during routine interactions with them.

Online petition

A petition,“Tell Mayor Levar Stoney to Defy Trump, Defend Richmond and Expand Sanctuary,” is posted online for people to sign in order to persuade Mayor Stoney and his office to take action in reference to immigrants and refugees. The mayor's office is encouraging activists that it would be much better to give their attention to state and federal government.