Ordinances

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An ordinance is a piece of legislation enacted by a municipal government. The term is sometimes used interchangeably with local law, code, or regulation. Ordinances are legislative by nature and the creation of one is equivalent to a municipal statute (Garner 2014, 1273). They are introduced within a city council, debated on the floor, occasionally referred to committee for more discussion, and then ultimately voted upon (League of Minnesota Cities 2023).

Intended to address something not currently legislated through federal or state laws, such as the imposition of fines or the local regulation of people and property, ordinances have the strongest legal standing of the policies included in our archive (Garner 2014; League of Minnesota Cities 2023). An ordinance can only be repealed with another ordinance, and violation of an ordinance can be enforced in municipal court. Ordinances can be voided if they conflict with U.S. federal law, state law, or the U.S. constitution (League of Minnesota Cities 2023).

You can peruse the collection of Ordinances by scrolling through the policies below or using the filters to sort them by issue date, author, title, or subject. Please note that some of the filters, such as department and graduation year, are not applicable to this project. Also, the title filter only captures the first few letters of a title and the policy titles all begin with the designation of the type of policy so searching within this filter will not be as illustrative as the other filters. Once you click on a filter, you can search within that filter by entering in a place name or a few letters of an author, for instance, and then clicking the browse button.

There are 36 ordinances in our archive. Please note that in the case of San Francisco, the ordinances were put forth by the city and county of San Francisco. We include these policies in our tally for cities that passed policies.

References: Garner, B., ed. 2014. Black’s Law Dictionary, Tenth Edition. St. Paul, Minn.: Thomson Reuters.

League of Minnesota Cities. 2023. Handbook for Minnesota Cities. https://www.lmc.org/wp-content/uploads/documents/Meetings-Motions-Resolutions-and-Ordinances.pdf

This page was last updated in May 2024.

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Now showing 1 - 20 of 36
  • ItemOpen Access
    Ordinance C35167: Immigration Status Information
    (2014-10-08) City Council of the City of Spokane [WA]
    Ordinance C35167 adopts the new section 3.10.050 within chapter 3.10 of the Spokane Municipal Code which dictates that, unless required by law or court order, no Spokane City officer or employee shall inquire into the immigration status of any person, or engage in activities designed to ascertain the immigration status of any person. Additionally, the Spokane Police Department shall not investigate, arrest, or detain an individual based solely on immigration status.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Ordinance 17886: Ending the Honoring of Civil Immigration Hold Requests
    (2014-09-03) Metropolitan King County Council [WA]
    Ordinance 17886 ends the honoring of any civil immigration hold requests from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for individuals in the custody of the department of adult and juvenile detention. It also amends Ordinance 17706, Section 2, and King County Code (K.C.C.) 2.15.020.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Ordinance 124541: Immigrant and Refugee Commission Young Adult Position
    (2014-08-05) City Council of the City of Seattle [WA]
    Ordinance 124541, recorded as Council Bill Number 118121, authorizes a Get Engaged young adult position to the Immigrant and Refugee Commission and amends Section 3.14.545 of the Seattle Municipal Code.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Ordinance 11.1.9: Establishing a Boston Trust Act
    (2014-06-27) Boston City Council [MA]
    Ordinance 11.1.9 dictates that a law enforcement official shall not detain an individual on the basis of a civil immigration detainer request after that individual becomes eligible for release from custody unless specified criteria are met.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Ordinance 17706: Civil Immigration Hold Requests
    (2013-12-03) Metropolitan King County Council [WA]
    Ordinance 17706 dictates that a civil immigration hold request from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will be honored only for individuals convicted of a violent or serious crime.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Ordinance 203-14: Legal Services for Unaccompanied Children and Families
    (2014-10-01) Board of Supervisors of the City and County of San Francisco [CA]
    Ordinance 203-14 appropriates funds for legal services for unaccompanied children and families on the San Francisco Immigration Court expedited removal docket.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Ordinance 2014-07: Civil Immigration Detainer Requests
    (2014-10-23) Board of Aldermen of the City of Somerville [MA]
    Ordinance 2014-07 dictates that a law enforcement official shall not detain an individual on the basis of a civil immigration detainer request after that individual becomes eligible for release from custody unless specified criteria are met.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Ordinance 22: Persons Not to be Detained by the Department of Correction
    (2013-03-18) Council of the City of New York [NY]
    This Ordinance amends section 9-131 of chapter 1 of title 9 of the administrative code of the city of New York and provides guidelines surrounding persons not to be detained by the department of correction in relation to immigration.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Ordinance 21: Persons Not to be Detained by the Police Department
    (2013-03-18) Council of the City of New York [NY]
    This Ordinance amends chapter 1 of title 14 of the administrative code of the city of New York by adding section 14-154, which provides guidelines surrounding persons not to be detained by the police department in relation to immigration.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Ordinance 10-13: Commission on Refugee and Immigrant Affairs
    (2013-11-25) City Council of the City of Hartford [CT]
    Ordinance 10-13 establishes a Commission on Refugee and Immigrant Affairs with the mission of: creating a means for refugee and immigrant voices to be heard and understood; facilitating civic engagement among refugees and immigrants; and recognizing and legitimizing issues of importance to new arrivals to the City of Hartford.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Ordinance 204-13: Amending the Administrative Code
    (2013-10-01) Board of Supervisors of the City and County of San Francisco [CA]
    In Ordinance 204-13, the Board of Supervisors of the City and County of San Francisco amend the Administrative Code, by adding Chapter 121, which prohibits law enforcement officials from detaining individuals on the basis of a civil immigration detainer after they become eligible for release from custody, except for individuals who meet specified criteria.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Ordinance 19-379: Immigration Detainer Compliance Emergency Amendment Act of 2012
    (2012-06-15) Council of the District of Columbia [D.C.]
    In this Ordinance, recorded as Ordinance Number 19-379 and the Immigration Detainer Compliance Emergency Amendment Act of 2012, the Council of the District of Columbia amends policy for complying with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainer requests.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Ordinance 123822: Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs
    (2012-02-07) City Council of the City of Seattle [WA]
    In this Ordinance, recorded as Ordinance Number 123822 and Council Bill Number 117394, the City Council of the City of Seattle establishes an Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Ordinance 16-11 N.S.: Municipal Identification Program
    (2011-07-19) City Council of the City of Richmond [CA]
    Ordinance 16-11 N.S. amends Chapter 2.64, Article II, of the Richmond Municipal Code, and provides for the issuance of Municipal Identification Cards to residents of the City.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Ordinance L19-0194: Immigration Detainer Compliance Amendment Act of 2011
    (2011) Council of the District of Columbia [D.C.]
    In this Ordinance, the Council of the District of Columbia describes its policy regarding immigration detainer requests from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
  • ItemOpen Access
    Ordinance 62: Civil Immigration Detainer Requests
    (2011-11-22) Council of the City of New York [NY]
    Ordinance 62 amends the administrative code of the City of New York to explain the conditions under which civil immigration detainer requests will not be honored.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Ordinance 11-O-73: Responding to ICE Detainers
    (2011-09-07) Board of Commissioners of Cook County [IL]
    In this Ordinance, recorded as Ordinance Number 11-O-73, the Board of Commissioners of Cook County provides policy for responding to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainers.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Ordinance 279-08: Amending the Administrative Code
    (2008-11-18) Board of Supervisors of the City and County of San Francisco [CA]
    In this Ordinance, recorded as Ordinance 279-08 and File Number 081376, the Board of Supervisors of the City and County of San Francisco amends section 95.2 of the Administrative Code to revise the documentation requirements for proof of identity and proof of residency for municipal identification card applicants.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Ordinance 09-08: Protected Groups
    (2008-05-22) City Council of the City of Detroit [MI]
    Ordinance 09-08, which appears under Article IX Sections 27-9-1 through 27-9-3 of the Detroit, MI Code of Ordinances, amends City Code to update and expand the human rights of people in protected groups.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Ordinance 16692: Ascertaining Immigration Status as it Relates to the Public Health and Safety of the Residents of King County
    (2009-11-09) Metropolitan King County Council [WA]
    In this Ordinance, recorded as Ordinance 16692 and File Number 2009-0393, the Metropolitan King County Council ordains, among other items, that any county office, department, employee, agency or agent shall not condition the provision of county services on the citizenship or immigration status of any individual.