Illinois immigration rights advocates are calling for the passage of a bill that would make Illinois a “sanctuary state.” Democratic state senators Rep. Celina Villanueva, of Chicago, and Sen. Don Harmon, of Oak Park, joined immigration rights advocates who want passage of a bill that would limit cooperation public agencies in Illinois provide to ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.) Villanueva said during a recent Statehouse news conference,
“In a time when separating families has become synonymous with the U.S.-Mexico border, families in Illinois are also under the threat of separation due to ruthless, harmful and lawless immigration enforcement.”
President Donald Trump issued an executive order to cut off federal funding to “sanctuary cities” that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration authorities. “No one who supports sanctuary cities should be allowed to run for president of the United States,” Trump told supporters in Orlando on June 19 when he kicked off his 2020 reelection campaign.
A sanctuary city (or county or state) limits its cooperation with federal immigration enforcement agents to protect low-priority immigrants from deportation, while still turning over those who have committed serious crimes. Many immigration advocates prefer the term “safe cities,” says American’s Voice:
“In a safe city, the police will release an arrested immigrant after he’s been cleared of charges, posted bail, or completed jail time for whatever he was arrested for. A non-safe city will hold that person until ICE can come pick them up – even though that extra holding is not constitutional.”
House Bill 1637, known as the “Keep Illinois Families Together Act,” was introduced in January 2019 and would prohibit local law enforcement agencies in Illinois from entering into agreements to enforce federal immigration laws. It was passed by the House on May 30, 2019, and sent to the Governor on June 6, 2019.
The attorneys at Chicago’s Godoy Law Office fight for the rights of immigrants in Illinois and help immigrants navigate the complex and numerous immigration policies, procedures, and regulations. If you need help with an immigration issue, please contact our office at 855-554-6369.