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Lawrence OK Protections for Immigrants in Country Illegally

Lawrence city officials approved an ordinance that provides protections for immigrants in the country illegally and includes policies regarding how police interact with them.

LAWRENCE, KAN. (AP):- After more than a year of discussion, Lawrence city officials have approved a nondiscrimination ordinance that governs treatment of immigrants in the country illegally, and oversees how police interact with those immigrants.

Tuesday’s vote by the Lawrence City Commission comes after more than a year of discussion of police and city interaction with immigrants, prompted by the advocacy group Sanctuary Alliance.

The nondiscrimination ordinance, among other things, prohibits the city from considering immigration status or collecting immigration-related information when providing city services.

On Tuesday, the commission approved two additional provisions that require police to notify the public when the department becomes aware of certain federal immigration activities in Lawrence. The public also must be notified if the police department changes to its policy that generally limits police cooperation with federal immigration agents for noncriminal matters, The Lawrence Journal-World reported.

“This has been a labor of love for so many people in our community,” Mayor Jennifer Ananda said after the ordinance was finalized Tuesday. “It has been a wonderful facilitation by our city attorney and certainly drafting this has been, I think, a real example of our community coming together.”

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