Earlier this month, the Human Services Committee of the Evanston’s City Council unanimously approved a draft resolution that would prohibit city employees and law enforcement from inquiring about an individual’s immigration status unless it is required by law or deemed integral to a police investigation. If passed, Evanston would be the first suburb in the Chicago area to become a “sanctuary city.”
Some of the city’s officials see Evanston as a “compassionate city” where the legacy of immigration is embraced and the countless contributions of immigrants are recognized and honored. The policy, similar to that of Chicago and numerous cities across the country, enables undocumented immigrants to report crimes and access services without fear of deportation.
In the meantime, other cities in the U.S., including several Chicago suburbs, have passed ordinances that train officers to question people on their immigration status andhold landlords and business responsible for policing their tenants and employees status. In a recent GOP presidential debate, candidates assailed one another for supporting sanctuary policies at points in their careers.
Do cities have an ethical or legal obligation to monitor and report undocumented immigrants to federal authorities? Should individual cities in the U.S. be defining immigration policies? What are the ramifications of this type of individualization? How will Congress be able to pass federal immigration reform legislation that reflects the vastly different opinions and approaches to immigration policy?
For more informaiton, please contact Kristin Millikan at 312.422.5580.