The Town of Normal is now a 'Welcoming City'.
In a 5-2 vote Monday evening, council members voted to approve the ordinance that would offer protection to illegal immigrants and access to public services without fear of deportation.
The decision was not made lightly. It took nearly two hours of questions, discussions and weighting the pros and cons of the ordinance.
Many wondered if the city already protects and treats everyone equally, why the need for a piece of paper to say it? Normal Council agreed that in years to come when there are new elected officials and leadership, the ordinance will memorialize their decision to help protect everyone in their community.
The two council members that voted against it were Jeff Fritzen Scott Preston. They each expressed concern about whether becoming a Welcoming City would blur the lines that separate council from a group that creates policy into a body that oversees operations.
Ultimately though, the council decided the public would benefit more by encouraging everyone to work with police as a measure to increase public safety and public awareness; all while reducing fear of deportation for illegal immigrants.