The Westbrook City Council has unanimously adopted a resolution condemning acts of violence, intimidation, and discrimination against immigrants and refugees.

The broad statement is similar in spirit to a resolution adopted last month by the South Portland City Council, which condemned hateful rhetoric against Muslims and immigrants. It is also reminiscent of three wide-ranging resolutions proposed by the Portland Board of Education to protect immigrant students and their families and affirm the free-speech rights of school employees.

These resolutions come in the wake of President Trump’s campaign promises and new immigration policies, including his recent executive order to ban refugees and other immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries. Westbrook has a growing population of immigrants from the Middle East, Africa and other parts of the world. Last summer, anti-Muslim threats were discovered at a Westbrook apartment complex.

“The purpose of this statement is not to politicize these issues but to publicly reaffirm the City’s commitment to civil and human rights for all,” City Administrator Jerre Bryant wrote in a memo to the City Council. “While these matters are being discussed and debated at the state and federal levels of government, repercussions from these discussions are impacting local schools, public safety departments and health, social and community service providers.”

Ward 3 City Councilor Anna Turcotte proposed the measure in Westbrook. Turcotte is originally from Azerbaijan, but her family fled the country in 1989. She lived in Armenia as a refugee for three years before she arrived in the United States in 1992.

“We, as elected representatives of the people of Westbrook, have a special responsibility to speak out in the wake of hate, violence, fear, intimidation and discrimination against any of our constituents or countrymen; including foreign-born residents of the city who represent a substantial portion of our population,” one part of the resolution reads.

When the resolution passed Monday night, Turcotte posted a message of gratitude on her public Facebook page.

“This is what Westbrook is about and I stand by and represent all the members of Ward 3 regardless of your country of origin, your race, gender or religion,” she wrote.

A copy of the resolution is available on the city’s website.

Megan Doyle can be contacted at 791-6327 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: megan_e_doyle

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