Woodford County Board to vote on non-sanctuary status again

Blake Parsons is the committee chair and said the county simply doesn’t have the resources to help a large group of people. (Photo Courtesy of WMBD-TV)


WOODFORD COUNTY – Woodford County’s Public Safety Committee unanimously passed a resolution that would declare the county a non-sanctuary county, which now requires final approval from the County Board.

Non-sanctuary status means a county will not provide taxpayer funded services for migrants if they were to enter the county. About 12 counties across Illinois have declared that status.

The main point of emphasis of the meeting was the emergency action plan, a proactive plan of action if an influx of migrants were to come to Woodford County. Potential options such as using a Peoria Charter bus and driving the migrants to Chicago were discussed.

Blake Parsons is the committee chair and said the county simply doesn’t have the resources to help a large group of people.

“There’s nothing that Woodford County can do for illegal immigrants that show up in mass to house them long term or to educate them,” he said.

When asked about potential interference from the Illinois government, Parsons said that both the state and federal governments have “enabled” the issue, and he described it as “the most irresponsible government act of our day.”

As a result, he said it has created a “trickle-down effect” that is forcing municipal governments to plan what they will do if an influx of migrants were to come.

He said if that were to happen, the county would provide basic necessities such as clothing, food and water. However, he isn’t sure where the migrants would be housed, adding to his point about the county’s lack of resources.

“We can’t expect our taxpayers to burden the expense of housing individuals for a prolonged period of time without being able to know what the end game is,” he said.

Parsons also responded to those who say that migrants will most likely not come to the county. He said the county can’t afford to create a plan on the fly.

“The time to plan and have a course of action for an emergency issue is not after it happens. It’s to be proactive in your thinking, determining ‘what will we do’ if and when we have an event,” he said.

He added that continued guidance from Woodford County State’s Attorney Greg Minger is valuable, as they need to know what they are legally allowed to do.

Parsons finished by saying that he believes most of the migrants are good people, but that the county couldn’t handle the strain they would cause.

The next Woodford County Board meeting is slated for Tuesday, May 21. It is expected that a final decision will be made at that meeting.

EUREKA, Ill. (WMBD) — After the Woodford County Board voted last month to table a discussion on making the county a non-sanctuary county, the issue has once again been brought to the forefront.

This time, the county’s public safety committee will bring it up at its Monday meeting and could approve a resolution making the county a non-sanctuary county. What that means is the county would not use any taxpayer-funded services for migrants who entered the country illegally.

It has faced criticism from several organizations, including the local chapter of the ACLU. Nearly 20 people spoke at the county board meeting last month, with most speaking against the resolution.

The issue of making counties non-sanctuary status has become a debate recently, with McLean, Marshall and other counties proposing resolutions that have been either tabled or voted down.

WMBD-TV can be reached at [email protected].


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