Melrose Park residents showing their support for a sanctuary city ordinance in the village during a regular board meeting in February. | File
Monday, April 10, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews
During an April 10 regular board meeting, the Melrose Park Board of Trustees unanimously struck down a decision to direct the village’s attorneys to prepare an ordinance that would make Melrose Park a sanctuary city. Trustee Jaime Anguiano was not in attendance.
The board did, however, unanimously pass what Mayor Ron Serpico called Resolution 1217, which “reaffirms” the village’s welcoming policy.
After the vote on the sanctuary city ordinance was over, someone in the audience vowed that more protests would follow tonight’s decision.
For roughly four months, members of the Melrose Park-based social justice nonprofit PASO-West Suburban Action Project have been trying to get Melrose Park’s Board of Trustees to pass a welcoming ordinance.
And for roughly four months, the board has resisted, with Serpico arguing that the measure would be unwise, given President Donald Trump’s threats to withhold federal funds from municipalities that won’t collaborate with federal efforts to deport individuals suspected of being in the country illegally.
On March 27, Attorney General Jeff Sessions doubled down on Trump’s threats when he threatened that the justice department would deny cities that adopt sanctuary ordinances federal law enforcement grants.
Serpico also argued that a welcoming ordinance measure would only be symbolic and would give a false sense of hope to immigrants who think that the proposal might prevent deportations in Melrose Park.
Officials with PASO, however, have said that the local immigrant community doesn’t believe that a welcoming ordinance would be a panacea. It will, they argue, act as an added layer of protection against the federal government’s efforts to deputize local law enforcement agencies so that they might carry out Trump’s orders nationally and on a comprehensive basis.
Last month, PASO organized a march outside of Melrose Park’s village hall. VFP
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