Immigration protection bill passes in Illinois Senate


Daily file photo by Ryan Wangman

State Sen. Daniel Biss (D-Evanston) at a meet and greet in March. Biss was a co-sponsor of the Trust Act, which he said will help keep Illinois immigrant families safe.

Ryan Wangman, Assistant City Editor

The Illinois State Senate approved a bill Thursday that would prevent state law enforcement agencies from aiding in immigration enforcement actions without a warrant.

The act, which passed by a vote of 31 to 21, would also create protected areas for immigrants in state buildings such as school and hospitals. State Sen. Daniel Biss (D-Evanston) is a co-sponsor of the bill and said he hopes it will help improve community safety.

“I can’t promise you that we can change federal policy right now, but I can promise you we will fight as hard as we can at the state and local level to keep your families safe,” Biss said at a news conference in April. “The way we keep that promise is passing the Illinois ‘TRUST Act’ immediately.”

Illinois Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago), who was the primary sponsor of the bill, said in a news release that Illinois police have a difficult job without trying to carry out the roles of federal immigration officers. He said the proposal is designed to build trust between police and immigrant communities and refocus police resources.

“If someone is going to be detained in Illinois it should be because an actual crime has occurred, not because of how they look, what they believe or what paperwork they may or may not have,” Cullerton said. “It is my hope that this legislation will enhance interaction between the immigrant community and state and local police to improve safety and the quality of life for all Illinoisans.”

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