Following passage in Normal, Mayor Tari Renner said Tuesday that a Welcoming City immigration ordinance could return to a Bloomington City Council agenda in June.
Pro-immigrant activists have been pushing Bloomington aldermen to vote on the issue for more than a year. Aldermen are split on the issue, and supporters like Renner haven’t been able to bring it to a vote despite months of trying.
The Normal Town Council last week passed its own Welcoming Community ordinance. It, among other things, prohibits town employees (including police) from asking about someone’s citizenship or immigration status unless it’s required by law or court order or necessary for a criminal investigation. Normal Police officers must comply with state and federal law but also must get approval from their chief prior to communicating with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
“I would’ve liked Bloomington to be first to do, frankly, the right thing,” Renner said on GLT’s Sound Ideas. “It’s the moral, American thing to do in a nation of immigrants, and in a community where we have some people who are frankly quite afraid.”
“It certainly does not hurt us in our process,” having Normal do it first, Renner said.
If a Welcoming City ordinance goes to a vote in Bloomington, Renner said he’d expect it to have the “same type of language” as the one Normal passed.
“Not identical but it will be very, very similar,” he said.
Renner said “it may come up in June,” depending on what else is on the council agenda.
The Keep Families Together coalition has been lobbying local elected officials to pass a Welcoming City ordinance for months. The issue surfaced in part because of anxiety over the Trump administration’s hardline approach to immigration.
You can also listen to GLT's full interview with Renner:
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