Hartford has become the second Connecticut city to bar its police from asking residents about immigration status.
Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez has signed the Immigration Ordinance approved by the city's Common Council last Tuesday.
The law prevents police from arresting or detaining anyone based soly on immigration status. It also prohibits city employees from asking individuals about their status when seeking city services.
In a statement, Mayor Perez says it has always been the city's policy not to penalize people who come forward with information to make Hartford safer. But the Mayor stresses the ordinance still requires the city to comply with federal laws.
Councilman Luis Cotto--who sponsored the immigration ordinance, says the law complements a general order by Hartford's police chief that was announced earlier this year.
"Our feeling at city council was that when a chief of police puts out a general order like that, it can be removed by the next, incoming chief of police and also doesn't instill residents with any rights. Whereas codifying it and making it an ordinance does."
Under the ordinance, Hartford police are still required to notify federal authorities if they arrest someone for a crime and he or she is undocumented. They will also assist immigration authorities in criminal investigations.
In 2006 New Haven's Police Department adopted a similar general order.