Fort Worth

Headlines Put Spotlight on Small City of Sanctuary

What's in a name?

The debate over sanctuary cities has occupied front page news and garnered national attention. But the small city of Sanctuary in North Texas rarely makes headlines.

"It's a great city," said Sanctuary Mayor Cliff Scallan. "We seem to have gotten some notoriety here by our name."

Sanctuary is a small community with a population of less than 400 people, located northwest of Fort Worth in Parker County. It has nothing to do with so-called "sanctuary cities."

"I wish they'd chose some different words," Scallan chuckled. "We don't harbor anything. We don't hide from anything. We don't try to hide anything. We're just here, you know."

The city's shopping center, the Azle Antique Mall, is stocked with collectibles, trinkets, old wooden wall phones and switchboards that transport customers back in time.  

"Sanctuary, to me, just means safe," said Linda Dorsey, who's worked at the Antique Mall in Sanctuary for three decades. "I'm all for people to come here from other countries and I want them to feel safe. I don't want them to come here as undocumented."

Scallan said his city is not a "highly" political place, noting Sanctuary recently canceled its city council election because no one wanted to run against the incumbents.

"I hope everybody doesn't associate our name with the legislature and the political movements that went on out there," Scallan said.

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