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Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner, left, speaks to members of the audience at the Nov. 27 City Council meeting at City Hall. More than 100 people turned out to call for designating Bloomington a city that welcomes immigrants, regardless of legal status.

MARIA NAGLE, THE PANTAGRAPH

BLOOMINGTON — A Dec. 18 City Council discussion about declaring Bloomington a city that welcomes all immigrants, regardless of their legal status, has been changed from City Hall to the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts.

Whether the city should adopt a resolution or an ordinance will be discussed during a council work session, so no action by the council is anticipated. The council also will have a voting session that night.

After a crowd of more than 100 people packed the council chambers and spilled into the stairwells and hallways at City Hall during the council's Nov. 27 meeting, Mayor Tari Renner said the council would discuss the topic again at a meeting in December.

"Based on the amount of public interest in the topic, as demonstrated by attendance at the Nov. 27 meeting and the capacity of the City Hall council chambers, the meeting will be held instead in the auditorium of the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts, 600 N. East St.," the city said in a statement Wednesday.

The start time of the work session remains undetermined.

The Bloomington council had planned in July to consider a resolution welcoming immigrants, but pulled the item to wait for Gov. Bruce Rauner to sign the Trust Act into law, which he did in September.

Jenn Carrillo, YWCA McLean County mission impact director, and other advocates say they favor a welcoming-city ordinance to prohibit local police from cooperating with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.

According to the new state law, police are prohibited from searching, arresting or detaining someone solely because of immigration status or because of federal immigration detention orders. But local authorities are able to communicate with immigration agents and hold someone for federal authorities if there's a valid criminal warrant. 

Auditorium doors are anticipated to open 30 minutes prior to the start time. Members of the public who want to comment during the meeting’s 30-minute public comment period will have to complete a public comment card at least five minutes prior to the start of the meeting.

Written public comments also may be submitted for the official record to the city clerk at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting. 

Due to timing, the subsequent City of Bloomington Township meeting at 6:30 p.m. and council meeting at 7 p.m., both on that same day, also will be at the BCPA. Because Christmas falls on the fourth Monday of the month, the council will move its regular voting session to Dec. 18.

The meetings will not be livestreamed, but they will be recorded and posted on the City’s website, www.cityblm.org, at a later date.

Follow Maria Nagle on Twitter: @Pg_Nagle

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