Yesterday, in Waukegan, Illinois, a new mayor was elected. Former mayor, Richard Hyde, notorious for his anti-immigrant tactics and policies, was beaten in an upset. From our partners at the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant Rights (ICIRR):
Mayor Hyde was reknown for his anti-immigrant harassment and Waukegan was the first city in Illinois to apply for the controversial 287g authority, permission for local police to enforce federal immigration laws. Waukegan became known for the racial profiling of its Latino citizens and harassment through measures like towing of the cars of immigrants. This caused many immigrants to leave the area, businesses to close, and homes to go into foreclosure. It also caused criminal activity to go unreported because immigrants are afraid to call the police when they have been victims or witnesses of crimes.
Over the last three years immigrant activists worked to assist over 1000 eligible waukegan immigrants to become citizens, and registered over 1000 Latinos to vote. Today the Latino voters turned out in force and turned Mayor Hyde out of office in a shocking upset. In the 9 precincts with the highest density of Latino voters voted for Sabonjian by a margin of 55% to Hyde’s 42%.
“The defeat of mayor Hyde shows the politics of anti-immigrant hate is rejected by both Latinos and by all Illinoians. The people of Waukegan, Illinois, and the United States want solutions to fix our broken immigration system, not cheap scapegoating of immigrants.” said Josh Hoyt, Executive Director of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR).
Congratulations to new mayor, Bob Sabonjian, and to ICIRR for this exciting victory.