LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) – 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.
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.