In light of our recent article about ICE arresting undocumented immigrants in the area, specifically in Urbana, which is a designated sanctuary city, we thought it might be helpful to examine exactly what that designation means? According to this news story from WILL,

"At its core, a ‘sanctuary city’ seeks to offer some protection to those who live in the country illegally.

Urbana’s revised measure doesn’t offer protection from deportation, but (law professor Francis) Boyle says it confirms police generally won’t help the federal government investigate immigration status – unless there’s a court order.

'And then second, the critical component here, is that the city of Urbana, will provide city services to all residents, irrespective of immigration status,' Boyle said.

So how much of a difference does this make? It wasn't far reaching enough to protect "Juan", who is now in Guatemala rather than Urbana. Is it merely to make a statement, or does it offer real protection for the undocumented folks in our community? What about making all of Champaign County a sanctuary, as suggested here?

Photo by Jess Hammie