|Statehouse Scene could get gloomier with immigration thrown into mix|
CHICAGO PUBLIC SCHOOLS officials recently informed principals they ought to respond to the presence of federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials on their campuses by demanding to see a warrant. Officials with the school board for Oak Park-River Forest High School are in the process of creating a similar policy -- actually writing it into their school code to give it more lasting authority.
Which is what led state Rep. Chris Welch, D-Hillside, to introduce a bill before the Illinois General Assembly that would address the issue by giving school districts, hospitals and churches the authority to designate themselves sanctuary zones.
Such a policy would require local law enforcement to show they have a warrant before they can try entering those places' properties.
Some people are getting outraged at the very thought. Although if you want to know the truth, those people are the ones who are scary and suggesting something that we ought to think of as un-American.
THE POINT OF a warrant is to show that police are arriving on the scene for a specific purpose, and not just to harass or go on a fishing expedition -- of sorts -- in hopes of getting lucky and finding something that might lead to an immigration-related bust.
It also says that a judge has given at least cursory review to the evidence that would lead to an arrest, and that there is some reason to believe the allegations are legitimate.
I don't see what is wrong with requiring a warrant -- unless you're the type who believes we ought to live in a police state. Which makes you the ones of a terrifying mentality.
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Although I know we do have such people in our society who are convinced they are behaving in our best interests. Such is the motivation of people like state Rep. Allen Skillicorn, R-East Dundee, who has his own bill pending that is meant to counter the Welch measure.
HIS BILL WOULD say that local law enforcement entities can negotiate agreements to cooperate with federal Immigration authorities. Under the concept of "sanctuary" cities, such as Chicago and Cook County, the local police are not supposed to concern themselves with any information concerning immigration policy.
The theory being that federal authorities who actually understand immigration policy should do their own work!
We have dueling bills -- one pro- and the other anti-, although it could be argued that what is for and against on this issue depends on where one stands on immigration policy -- and how long it has been since their own families (in my case, it was the grandparents' generation) were directly affected by the immigrant condition.
We even had dueling protests on Saturday; with the State Journal-Register reporting on the two protests that took place just outside of the Statehouse during the noon hour.
THE GROUP TAKING up the concerns of the police and the nativist element of our society gathered by the statue of Abraham Lincoln to try to claim some of his moral authority, while those protesters looking to protect the interests of immigrants who otherwise would face harassment gathered by the statue of Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Which strikes me as odd, because I know historically Lincoln was among those people who as a member of Congress opposed the war with Mexico that ultimately resulted in the U.S. land grab of California, Texas and other states we crafted out of Mexico. While I also know King's children have expressed support for those who want to close off this country to some of the newcomers.
We can dismiss the Saturday sentiments as being those of people who had nothing better to do with their weekend, I suppose. But the fact is that this immigration hatred that is being stirred up so much by the presidential administration currently in power is going to keep cropping up on our own political front.
Which could wind up being a major source of headache for Gov. Bruce Rauner -- seeing that he has desperately tried to avoid taking a position on any of the nativist nonsense that Trump has been spewing. It will be interesting to see how he tries to dodge this issue when it comes up on his own doorstep.