Rally calls on Lawrence to be declared sanctuary city
LAWRENCE, Kan. — Hundreds have rallied in a Lawrence park to call on city officials to declare the northeastern Kansas city a sanctuary for immigrants who are in the U.S. without legal permission.
The Journal-World reports that the Friday night rally was organized by a local coalition of Latino activists. The coalition says more than 300 people signed a petition urging Lawrence leaders to pass ordinances aimed at protecting immigrants, including measures to limit local police cooperation with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
State Rep. Susan Ruiz, a Shawnee Democrat, told the crowd the country needed more sanctuary cities.
This comes after U.S. officials announced the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency would be conducting raids targeting undocumented immigrants over the weekend of July 13. The raids, ICE officials and Vice President Mike Pence say, target thousands of immigrants who have a court deportation order.
The rally also raised more than $1,600 for a fund to help local immigrants and refugees pay for such things as legal fees, groceries and transportation.
In 2017, the City Commission proclaimed Lawrence a “welcoming city,” but proclamations aren’t legally binding.