Open Letter from Morton Grove Residents, Businesses & Organizations Supporting a Welcoming Community Ordinance
To the President and Trustees of the Village of Morton Grove, and candidates for election for Mayor and Trustee:
We, the undersigned residents, community organizations, and businesses who make up the Morton Grove community, write to urge the Village and its leadership to move quickly to adopt a “Welcoming Community” ordinance to ensure the security and equal dignity of all members of our community.
Morton Grove has long been a racially and ethnically diverse community and is home to numerous immigrants from a variety of nations. Many other immigrants contribute to our community by working here and patronizing our businesses. It is therefore in the interest of Morton Grove as a municipality to foster an environment where immigrants, whether they are naturalized citizens, green card or visa holders, or otherwise, feel safe and comfortable.
Furthermore, in a world of rapidly shifting and potentially unlawful policies regarding immigration and immigration law enforcement at the federal level, it is incumbent upon us as a community to do what we can within the boundaries of the law to ensure that our public facilities and services are a safe space for those who are rendered vulnerable by political agendas that ignore their valuable contributions to our community and their inherent worth as human beings.
Finally, a “Welcoming Community” ordinance will actually facilitate the administration of justice in the Village of Morton Grove. Individuals who fear that any interaction with police or municipal officials could end up in detention or deportation have been shown to avoid such contacts. Removing that concern will ensure that potential crimes are reported and other interactions with municipal authorities follow their natural flow without the shadow of immigration enforcement.
Therefore, we call upon the Village to follow the lead of other local cities and municipalities, including Skokie, Evanston, Oak Park and Chicago, and adopt a “Welcoming Community” ordinance that will ensure that our Village personnel will not investigate, inquire, or condition availability of services on an individual’s immigration status and that our Police will not expend their valuable resources investigating, detaining or apprehending individuals at the request of federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement personnel unless pursuant to a valid arrest warrant issued by a judge based on a finding of probable cause.
We believe that such an ordinance is both practical and reflective of the values of the Morton Grove community, and we urge you to take action without delay.