Ogle County Board: Non-sanctuary county for immigration resolution passed

Board members again hear complaints of alleged animal abuse at rodeos


OREGON — At its monthly meeting Wednesday, the Ogle County Board unanimously approved a resolution declaring Ogle County a non-sanctuary county for immigration. 

The resolution passed Wednesday said the county is concerned with a lack of a federal or state comprehensive plan for asylum seekers. Cities including Schaumburg, Elk Grove Village and Rosemont have passed ordinances prohibiting, restricting and taxing the use of hotels, motels, warehouses etc. for extended use by illegal immigrants.

"Ogle County, by declaring itself a non-sanctuary county, pledges and re-dedicates its limited resources to its residents in need: Seniors, families living below the poverty level, veterans, homeless, and all those in need of social services already here in Ogle County, legally," the resolution said. "We declare ourselves a non-sanctuary county for immigration, dedicating our limited resources to all those already in need here in Ogle County."

Board Member Joseph Simms (R, District 3, Rochelle) led the proceedings on the resolution at the meeting and said the counties of Lee, LaSalle, DeKalb and Grundy have either enacted similar resolutions or are working on them.


For the second time since July, the board heard concerns from members of the organization Showing Animals Respect and Kindness regarding alleged animal abuse taking place at Mexican-style rodeos in the county. 

Steve Hindi, president of Showing Animals Respect and Kindness, pleaded with the board to take action to end the alleged animal abuse, and said it involves an event called "steer tailing" where a steer is forced to run along a wall and a contestant runs up alongside them and grabs the steer's tail and pulls them around. 

"We've gone to the sheriff's office with an overwhelming amount of video footage and we've spoken to the state's attorney's office, but unfortunately nothing has happened," Hindi said. "These animals are receiving no veterinary care. That is illegal according to Illinois state law. This is Illinois. We have some of the best humane laws in the country. But those humane laws are worthless without enforcement."

After comments made by the same group at the county board's July meeting, Ogle County Sheriff Brian VanVickle responded by saying his office was aware of the rodeos, and said they take place south of Rochelle, just outside the city limits. 

Mike Kobliska, another member of Showing Animals Respect and Kindness, spoke as well at Wednesday's meeting and said the rodeo in question was granted a special-use permit by the Ogle County Board in 2012. 

"Our understanding is they can continue in perpetuity, as long as they hold one rodeo every year," Kobliska said. "I call it a rodeo, but it's not a rodeo. It's one event: Steer tailing. Will County, Boone County and McHenry County have all filed charges or are working on laws for things like this."

County officials did not make a public response to the concerns raised by the Showing Animals Respect and Kindness organization members Wednesday.


The board unanimously approved American Rescue Plan Act funding requests for the Ogle County Sheriff's Office for the purchase and outfitting of squad vehicles. The amount of $198,528 was approved for four half-ton Chevrolet trucks. Outfitting costs were also approved in the amount of $68,187.


Board Chairman John Finfrock was presented with a plaque by Ogle County Farm Bureau President Keith Poole and OCFB Director Ryan Reeverts following the board's passing of a resolution supporting agriculture in Ogle County last month. Reeverts is also a county board member (R, District 6, Byron) and led the way on the agriculture support resolution.

The county is home to 1,011 farms, which support 5,079 jobs (22 percent of total jobs). Agriculture and related industries generate a total sales or output in Ogle County estimated at $665.8 million. Approximately 354,587 acres in Ogle County are farmland, representing 73 percent of total county acres.

"I just want to say thanks again," Reeverts said. "As a fifth-generation farmer right here in Ogle County, I want to thank you for your vote of confidence in agriculture all across Ogle County and what we do to feed, fuel and cloth the nation."