Residents in Durham debated whether to declare the community a sanctuary city at a town council meeting Monday night.
Several residents attended the meeting to speak on both sides of the issue.
Those in favor said declaring sanctuary city status would show the town’s support for immigrants in the wake of President Donald Trump’s executive orders on refugees.
But others, including Durham Town Administrator Todd Selig, said it would be a largely symbolic act with potentially dramatic consequences.
“It needlessly places Durham and our community in the crosshairs of the federal government," said Selig, "and sets us up for a potential battle over federal funding.”
Sanctuary cities, broadly speaking, pledge not to help federal authorities detain illegal immigrants. President Trump has promised to cut federal funding for sanctuary cities.
The Durham town council’s first opportunity to vote on the question will come at its next meeting in two weeks.