An email from Lakewood Village President Paul Serwatka:
Today, I was asked by Chicago Mayor, Rahm Emanuel, via his representative from the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus, to consider adopting a resolution in the Village of Lakewood calling on our Governor and the State of Illinois to establish a “Bill of Rights” for undocumented (illegal) individuals covered by the “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival” (DACA) Policy which will be rescinded in six months. This “Bill of Rights” would guarantee additional protections for so-called “Dreamers” against deportation as well as access to state scholarships/financial aid and state certifications/license needed for certain jobs.
Some of the salient features of this Resolution include:
* Ensuring that undocumented “Dreamers” can remain in their jobs
* Strengthening deportation protections for undocumented “Dreamers”
* Tightening protections in the newly-passed Illinois Trust Act
* Allowing more undocumented “Dreamers” to go to college
Mayor Emanuel also asked that I, as President of the VIllage of Lakewood, join him in signing a letter to the Governor which includes similar language to what is used in the resolution and press release.
I want to make clear that I declined both!
I will not move on adopting Mayor Emanuel’s Resolution in our village nor will I join Mayor Emanuel in signing his letter to the Governor.
I think you will find that my position on this issue is fully in step with another measure the Village of Lakewood took earlier this Spring, when we began implementing “E-Verify“.
If you are unaware, E-Verify is an Internet-based system that allows businesses to determine the eligibility of their employees to work in the United States.
The program was authorized by the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA). In short, employers submit information taken from a new hire’s Form I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification Form) through E-Verify to the Social Security Administration and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to determine whether the information matches government records and whether the new hire is authorized to work in the United States.
While I can not say with certainty the reasons, after notifying our seasonal employees of the new implementation of the E-Verify program this Spring, we did have a few seasonal golf course employees elect not to submit applications for re-hire this year.
While I understand this is the sort of “political hot potato” that municipal leaders typically avoid publicizing for fear of “backlash no matter what.”
I believe it’s important that residents are aware of these issues, that residents know that their elected leaders are in fact making these decisions and that they understand their elected leaders decisions/positions on these important issues.
As always, your thoughts, questions and concerns are always welcome and always valued.