The debate over whether Troy should become a “sanctuary city” has been reignited. The Republican mayoral candidate is calling on Mayor Patrick Madden to make his position on the issue clear. This is happening as city council plans to revisit this issue in the coming weeks. 

The Troy City Council could, possibly, vote on a proposal to make Troy a “sanctuary city” at a meeting on July 11. Supporters say they are working with the mayor’s office and community groups to draft a proposal, they believe, is more important now that ever. 

Democratic Troy City Councilor, David Bissember, believes now is the time. Just days ago, the Rensselaer County Sheriff’s Office recently renewed a partnership with ICE through the 287-G program — which allows two officers to serve as designated immigration officers.

“What we are trying to do is make sure we have public safety in our city and make sure people feel comfortable reporting crimes,” Bissember said.

The city councilor is pushing a measure that would prevent police and city employees from asking about someone’s immigration status.  

“What we want is to make sure we can codify that into law,” Bissember said.

The proposal, first introduced in December, was tabled last month. Republican candidate for Mayor Tom Reale, who opposes the plan, is calling into question the timing of the renewed push. 

“When people’s attention is understandably in other areas as a way to get it in under the radar,” Reale said. “We’ve heard from various individuals from the city council, from pro-sanctuary groups, that have said they are working with the mayor on this topic.”

Reale is calling on Mayor Patrick Madden to make his opinion on the issue clear. 

“It is time for the mayor to put his foot down and say this is where I stand on it at this time,” Reale said.

Bissember says he’s been working with community stakeholders and the mayor’s office to draft a resolution. Mayor Madden declined to be interviewed. But in an email to Spectrum News, a spokesman for Mayor Madden said, “The mayor remains opposed to a sanctuary designation for the city of Troy.”

Bissember believes there’s enough support on the Democrat controlled council to pass proposal this summer. Bissember added there is no attempt to pass this resolution without the full participation of the public. 

He would not rule out the possibility of a vote at the council’s July 11 meeting. The council does need to notify the public a full week ahead on any vote.