OAK PARK, Ill. — There’s a new front in the battle over President Donald Trump’s threat to pull funding from so-called “sanctuary cities.”
Suburban Oak Park is set to pass one of the nation’s most progressive sanctuary city ordinances on Monday, and on Saturday, hundreds rallied in Scoville Park to support the proposal.
Arti Peddakotla, an Army veteran who served for six years, says she’s now fighting for immigration rights.
“What Oak Park is doing is what all cities should do because the immigrant ban and the Muslim ban that Trump has put in place is un-American. It is not what we stand for in the military, it’s not what we fight for,” she said.
David Reyes came to the united states from Mexico as an undocumented immigrant almost 20 years ago. He became a citizen three years ago, and now is a bilingual math teacher.
“That’s my story, an immigrant that comes to this country to make a difference,” he said.
He and his wife Emily met in Mexico, and they now have two boys. She says to them – immigration isn’t about fear, it’s about family.
“We just want people to know that it’s in every community, and the immigrants who come here are not making the world more dangerous, they’re adding to the communities around them,” Emily said.
“If we shut ourselves off, if we close our borders, and if we wall ourselves in, we’re going to lose what makes us great. We’re going to lose that diversity,” said protester Christopher Olson.
The rally also attracted the attention of Ashley Bunney, a supporter of President Donald Trump’s policies, who wants to see limits on immigration.
“You can’t be here and expect us the working class to give you all of your benefits when you don’t want to be an American,” she said.
Oak Park Village Trustee Bob Tucker says the sanctuary city ordinance will bestow one benefit on immigrants – the benefit of the doubt.
“To make sure we’re sending a clear message to the community that Oak Park is a refuge for people to come to if they need to seek shelter from the storm that’s upon the community now,” he said.
The village board is set to vote on the sanctuary city ordinance at 7:30 p.m. Monday.
Chicago and Evanston already have similar measures on the books.