This afternoon, as my first act in office as Mayor, I signed an Executive Order designating Hoboken a Fair and Welcoming City, with the full support of Police Chief Kenneth Ferrante, leaders of the faith community in Hoboken, numerous elected officials, and local community activists. This order is intended to reflect the values of our country and the belief that we are all equal and entitled to dignity and respect.
Among other things, this executive order means that the application of the law shall be equal in Hoboken irrespective of immigration status, as well as religion, nationality, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. This order, with Chief Ferrante’s support, also means that our Police Department will not expend resources enforcing civil immigration law, unless required to do so by state or federal law or a court order.
As many are aware, the Hoboken we know and love today is a multi-cultural City built by immigrants, and today it sustained by immigrants and their decedents. Immigrants from Ireland, Italy, Germany, Holland and other countries built the Hoboken we know today. They built Hoboken then, and they are building Hoboken now. I’m proud that the Hoboken we live in today, built by immigrants, is a City that thrives on its diversity – diversity of thought, diversity of language, diversity of religion, diversity of heritage.
Last but not least, I am acutely aware that I ran for Mayor to hold the line on taxes, upgrade our infrastructure, curb and end flooding, and improve our parks and quality of life. Those remain my top priorities. This Executive Order is within my powers as Mayor and so I take it knowing that a city which welcomes all is much more likely to achieve these local priorities. Simply put, they reinforce each other. Hoboken was and will continue to be built and improved, like America, by immigrants, their descendants, and the diverse communities that make up our great City.
Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla