The Hillsborough County Diversity Council voted 8-1 to recommend that county commissioners look into becoming a sanctuary county Wednesday night.
Sanctuary cities and counties offer sanctuary to illegal immigrants, refusing to turn them over to federal officials for deportation. Most sanctuary cities and counties have also passed laws preventing employees from even turning over any information to immigration officials.
The council had to open up additional overflow space as several hundred people showed up to the meeting, most to voice support for the yes vote.
"Immigration and taking in refugees is part of American values," said Christine Hanna, who supports the sanctuary status.
The few who spoke against the idea did so on the basis of legal versus illegal immigration.
"We love legal immigration but illegal immigration depresses wages and it's morally wrong and it's just not the right thing to do," said one speaker who opposed the vote.
Concerns over a promise by President Donald Trump to cut federal funding to sanctuary cities and counties also concerned some, even those who support the idea.
"I think people are more important than pockets, so if he were to cut the contract that is a consequence we would have to live with," Hanna said.
The Hillsborough Board of County Commissioners doesn't have to consider the recommendation.