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GLT stories about immigrants living in Bloomington-Normal.

Welcoming City Ordinance Effort Revived In Bloomington

Bloomington City Hall
Eric Stock

Community groups demonstrated before Monday's Bloomington City Council meeting in an effort to revive efforts to pass a welcoming city ordinance.

The campaign failed two years ago. Louis Goseland of the Bloomington-Normal Chaper of the Democratic Socialists of America said there have been two police chiefs since the city council directed the police chief to develop a policy on when to cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

"Residents cannot be assured that that kind of consistent solution is actually being implemented, that their concerns and their call for a welcoming city ordinance is any further along than when we began this conversation," said Goseland.

A recent report documents instances of an Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) medical contractor performing unnecessary hysterectomies on women in detention. Sonny Garcia of the Families Belong Together Coalition said that highlights the need to reduce Bloomington Police contact with ICE.

"With municipal elections coming up in April, all our members, everybody in the community should watch what they are doing. We need to cut all ties with this organization. They are evil," said Garcia.

Garcia said the city council is changing and the group hopes to convince council members to order police to not cooperate with immigration and customs enforcement.

Goseland said only one council member or a new council member elected next year needs to change a vote for the ordinance to pass.

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WGLT Senior Reporter Charlie Schlenker has spent more than three award-winning decades in radio. He lives in Normal with his family.