“The validity of the Village as
an ethnically, racially and
religiously diverse Village is built,
in part, on the strength of
its immigrant communities.”
Oak Park Welcoming Village Ordinance
adopted February 6, 2017
The Village of Board of Trustees has adopted an ordinance designating the community as a welcoming Village where citizenship or immigration status does not factor into any interaction between individuals and municipal employees.
Working closely with several human rights advocacy groups, the ordinance codifies the longstanding practice among Village employees — including members of the Oak Park Police Department — of not collecting or maintaining information related to the immigration status of Village residents and visitors.
Village officials stressed that the ordinance does not violate federal law, but clarifies communications and enforcement relationships between the Village and the federal government. Officials said the ordinance makes it clear that immigration is a federal issue and does not involve the Village or its employees.
In most respects, the ordinance means business as usual in Oak Park since the Village has never routinely included questions about citizenship or immigration status in interactions with residents or visitors.
The Welcoming Village ordinance underscores Oak Park’s longstanding commitment to being a welcoming and diverse community.
In 1968, the Village became one of the first municipalities in the country to adopt and enforce a Human Rights Ordinance protecting the rights of individuals within the classes of race, sex, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, veteran status, sexual orientation, age, marital status, familial status or disability in the purchasing, leasing, securing a loan, renting or occupying housing or other real estate.
Officials said the new Welcoming Village Ordinance shares the underlying intent of the local Human Rights Ordinance adopted by Oak Park nearly 50 years ago. Both ordinances are about discrimination, they said, and this latest effort confirms that municipal employees will not pre-judge someone’s right to be a part of our community.
A copy of the ordinance is posted at www.oak-park.us/welcomingvillage.