Crowd Packs West Hartford Town Hall For Meeting With Sen. Murphy

Feb 22, 2017

More than 400 people attended a town hall in West Hartford on Tuesday with U.S. Senator Chris Murphy. Dozens spilled into overflow rooms when the auditorium reached capacity and hundreds of people were shut out when the fire marshal closed the building.

New Britain resident Lia Greenley said her husband is an undocumented Czech immigrant. She asked Murphy about plans to protect "sanctuary cities."

"We have not been able to afford the paperwork for him to become documented. There's no expedience to it even if we could," Greenley said. "And because of stupid mistakes we've made which many other people have many, it's not even that all accessible. We're looking at sanctuary cities here, and we're wondering if we should move there or wait until ICE is at our door." 

Murphy said Trump's immigration directives will pose a challenge to sanctuary cities like New Haven and Hartford -- but efforts by the administration to defund sanctuary cities will need congressional approval first.

"Trump has some limited discretion when it comes to discretionary grants," Murphy said. "But if he wants to condition the big funding sources for cities and states on the details of individual towns' law enforcement decisions, he needs Congress to pass those things." 

Murphy listens to questions from the audience at a town hall meeting in West Hartford.
Credit Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Murphy, a Democrat, suggested that individuals frustrated with Washington become involved locally, voice their grievances, and hold Republicans accountable for their promises.  He said some Republicans are "very concerned about what's going on," and that it's challenging for them to oppose a Republican president so early into his term.

This report contains information from the Associated Press.