Groups advocate for Welcoming City ordinance at Bloomington City - WEEK.com: Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

Groups advocate for Welcoming City ordinance at Bloomington City Council meeting

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BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WEEK) -- -

Several groups in central Illinois turned out at Bloomington's City council meeting Monday, showing support for local "dreamers." 

It was a room filled with folks uniting with a common message.

Community activist Sonny Garcia said the group's message is to keep families together.

Garcia is part of the immigrant-supporting collaboration that formed a little less than a year ago.

The group wants to persuade Bloomington council members to pass what's called the Welcoming City Ordinance.

The group has been calling on city officials to pass the ordinance that would keep the Police department from reaching out to ICE (the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Immigration Project Executive Director Charlotte Alvarez said she believes in a "separation of powers" and that ICE should do their job and that the police should do theirs.

The group says after filing through the Freedom of Information Act, they found that the Bloomington Police Department have been reaching out to ICE, about local immigrants with non-criminal records.

Even though there was a lot of support for the Welcoming City Ordinance at Monday's city council meeting, one individual voiced his strong opposition.

Referring those in the country illegally, "ship 'em back," were the words one man used.

Still, supporters are not giving up.

Garcia said the group had support from several city council members.

We have not heard why council members chose to remove it from the agenda.

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