Rally calls on Lawrence to be declared sanctuary city

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LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Hundreds have rallied in a Lawrence park to call on city officials to declare the northeastern Kansas city a sanctuary for immigrants who are in the U.S. without legal permission.

The Journal-World reports that the Friday night rally was organized by a local coalition of Latino activists. The coalition says more than 300 people signed a petition urging Lawrence leaders to pass ordinances aimed at protecting immigrants, including measures to limit local police cooperation with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

State Rep. Susan Ruiz, a Shawnee Democrat, told the crowd the country needed more sanctuary cities.

The rally also raised more than $1,600 for a fund to help local immigrants and refugees pay for such things as legal fees, groceries and transportation.

In 2017, the City Commission proclaimed Lawrence a "welcoming city," but proclamations aren't legally binding.