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Illinois Trust Act Success! - Governor Rauner signs legislation making Illinois a welcoming state

Illinois Trust Act Becomes Law 

“This will help law enforcement officers do their jobs better and make our communities safer in Illinois," -Governor Bruce Rauner

CHICAGO, IL – Governor Rauner today signed the Illinois Trust Act into state law at a ceremony in the Little Village community. The Latino Policy Forum recognizes and congratulates the Governor for signing this essential legislation, which will take effect immediately and sets reasonable, constitutional limits on local police interaction with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Furthermore, this legislation affirms that the State of Illinois is prioritizing safer cities through fostering trust between immigrants and the police officers who are sworn to protect and serve the region.

The  Illinois Trust Act stipulates that local police cannot comply with federal immigration detainers and warrants unless they are signed by a judge. Federal courts have ruled that detaining an individual based on a detainer, without a judge finding probable cause to hold that person, violates the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution. Representatives of the state’s law enforcement communities were on hand at the signing ceremony and gave their unwavering support to the legislation and the immigrants in their jurisdictions.

Further, local police cannot stop, search, or arrest anyone based solely on that person’s immigration or citizenship status. At a time when calls to 911 emergency services from Latinos and immigrant communities have noticeably declined across the country, this legislation will serve to restore the trust and faith of Latinos and immigrants in their local law enforcement and emergency service agencies as people who will serve and protect, regardless of immigration status.   

“Immigrants across the country are facing an increasing wave of xenophobic, misguided, and cynical attacks from political leaders at all levels, including President Trump. This legislation is a clear rebuke to those who willingly vilify the immigrant community to pursue a retrograde political and social agenda,” said Sylvia Puente, the Latino Policy Forum’s Executive Director.

Gov. Rauner pointed out that we’re a nation of immigrants, and added, “We all came to America for freedom and opportunity. One of the reasons Illinois is a strong state is because we’re a welcoming state.”

The Forum believes that at its core, the Illinois Trust Act is sound public policy that will foster greater trust and cooperation between immigrant communities and local police across Illinois.

Leo Schmitz, director of the Illinois State Police, was one of the law enforcement officials who spoke in support of the Trust Act: “All people in Illinois should feel secure and should be able to report crimes or call for assistance when needed.” 

“This is good for the people of Illinois and good for law enforcement,” he added.

In addition to the support from law enforcement, the legislation also received widespread support from the Illinois business community. 

The Forum acknowledges the lead sponsors of this legislation, State Senator John J. Cullerton and State Representative Emanuel Chris Welch, the dozens of cosponsors in the state Legislature and the non-profit and community-based organizations across the Illinois that made up the broad and diverse coalition that supported and ultimately passed the Illinois Trust Act:

Access Living, ACLU of Illinois, Alliance of Filipinos for Immigrant Rights and Empowerment (AFIRE), American Immigration Lawyers Association – Greater Chicago Chapter, Arab American Action Network, Arab American Family Services, Asian Americans Advancing Justice |Chicago, Brighton Park Neighborhood Council, Casa Michoacan – FEDECMI, Centro de Trabajadores Unidos, Centro Romero, Champaign Urbana Immigration Forum, Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, Chicago Federation of Labor, Chicago Legal Clinic, Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women’s Network, Chicago Religious Leadership Network, Chicago Teachers Union, Chinese Mutual Aid Association, Communities United, Community of Congregations, Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago, Enlace Chicago, Erie Neighborhood House, Faith Coalition for the Common Good, Family Focus Aurora, Federación de Hidalguenses en Illinois, Federación Internacional de Morelenses. FedenaymoNayaritas at Midwest, Fight For 15, Gamaliel of Illinois /Iowa, Gamaliel of Metro Chicago, HANA Center, Hanul Family Alliance, Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois, Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, Illinois Health and Hospital Association, Illinois Women's March on Springfield, Indo-American Center, Instituto del Progreso Latino, Interfaith Leadership Project,  Jewish Council of Urban Affairs, Latino Organization of the South, Life Span Center for Legal Services and Advocacy, Logan Square Neighborhood Association, Mano a Mano Family Resource Center, Mayor’s Office of the City of Chicago, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Mujeres Latinas en Acción, National Association of Social Workers – Illinois Chapter, National Immigrant Justice Center, North Suburban Teachers Union, Northern Illinois Justice for Our Neighbors, Office of the Cook County Sheriff, Office of the Cook County State’s Attorney, Office of the Illinois Attorney General, PASO (West Suburban Action Project), Peoria No Ban No Wall, Project IRENE, Quad Cities Interfaith, Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, SEIU HCII, Southwest Organizing Project, Southwest Suburban Immigrant Project, The Resurrection Project, UNITE HERE Local 1, United Congregations of Metro East, United Congress of Community and Religious Organizations.