Both candidates May and Cunningham have launched a citywide campaign to attract the Latino vote, which could become the deciding voting block to elect the next mayor of Waukegan.
By H. Nelson Goodson
Hispanic News Network U.S.A.
March 24, 2017
Waukegan, Illinois – On Friday, Waukegan mayoral candidates Lisa May and Sam Cunningham who are both current members of the City Common Council went on Radio Latina 5.0 and WPJX 1500 AM to let the Latino voting population know where they stand on sanctuary or safe cities for undocumented immigrants during an interview by Raúl Ventura Ortiz, the radio host. May’s campaign doesn’t seem to take the Latino voting block for granted and has been distributing bilingual political literature to reach Spanish and English-speaking voters, which says, “We must embrace Waukegan’s diversity because it is one of our greatest strenghts. I stand united with our Latino community, for our future, for the future of Waukegan…she “will fight to defend Waukegan’s DREAMers and their families because they are our community’s future.” May who is running as an independent candidate explained that City officials and police officers will not participate in immigration enforcement, if elected as Mayor. May says that Waukegan will continue operate with all the same policies and protections as a sanctuary city, under her administration, if elected Mayor, immigrants will not be asked for immigration status if you are calling for services. Her biggest fear would be, if someone would not call for services for fear of being deported resulting with the separation of families, according to May. May is a first generation daughter of an immigrant and understands what an immigrant father living a small apartment goes through to support his family. She confirmed that she doesn’t want to pass a resolution to officially make Waukegan a sanctuary city, but Waukegan will operate as a sanctuary city, if elected.
May’s believes that a sanctuary city makes a false assumption that it is a safe city and if the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) decides to go to any city like L.A. and Chicago to conduct raids, they can do so to enforce federal immigration laws. Secondly, becoming a sanctuary city puts a target for ICE to conduct raids, according to May who promised to make sure Waukegan becomes a safe city and services are offered to everyone regardless of immigration status.
May’s father immigrated to the U.S. as young man from Yugoslavia.
May is vigorously campaigning to attract more than 9,000 eligible registered Latino voters before the April 4th election.
Cunningham on the other hand told Ventura Ortiz that he also is in support of a safe city for immigrants and will make sure immigrants are not discriminated and should get city services as well. Cunningham who is a Democrat said that he was one of two city aldermen that opposed the 287(g) years ago and he did it because it was wrong. He also agrees with May that police, the fire department and city workers will not share information about undocumented students or their parents to the feds. The City of Waukegan will operate as a sanctuary city, even if it won’t be officially recognized as one, according to Cunningham, if elected Mayor. He told Latino students at the debate at Radio Latino that he would promise to address issues that affect the community because we can’t be in control by Washington, D.C., Springfield (the State Capitol legislature) or county and need to work together to make Waukegan the greatest community on the face of the earth.
The population in Waukegan is about 53.45% Hispanic, according to the last U.S. Census and about 9,700 Latinos are registered to vote, but during the last Primary Election not even 8% (776) of Latinos voted in the election, according to Ventura Ortiz.
City aldermen/women could get elected to office with about 200 to 300 votes due to a very low voter turnout.
Video: Lisa May and Sam Cunningham make their stand in making Waukegan a safe city for undocumented immigrants and their families. https://youtu.be/_ElAnYY3nnw