Regarding Deb Kadin’s June 6 article “Illinois ‘welcoming bill’ goes to the governor”:
Don’t be misled. Local welcoming policies continue to be critically necessary. The Illinois Trust Act, spearheaded by Reps. Welch and Hernandez, Senator Harmon and President Cullerton, is on its way to the governor as a bipartisan, negotiated bill. Legislators and advocates spent countless hours with law enforcement representatives, including the Illinois State Police, an agency headed by the governor, to reach consensus on a bill that ensures Illinois is a welcoming state for immigrants while supporting law enforcement’s ability to police within the bounds of the 4th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
The Trust Act is a strong bill. It prohibits law enforcement from detaining people based on immigration detainers or warrantless holds and ensures that law enforcement does not inquire about immigration status; however, communities must continue to push for Welcoming policies that strengthen the bill’s efforts. Welcoming policies like those passed in Oak Park and Berwyn send a clear message that local resources will not be spent on national efforts to profile or register people based on religion or national origin and prohibit all city officials from inquiring about immigration status. The governor’s signing of the Trust Act will be consistent with his statements against deputizing local police to serve as immigration agents. This bill will set the baseline for Illinois; however, local officials must pass Welcoming policies to send a clear message that immigrants are welcome and an integral part of our communities.
Representative Emmanuel “Chris” Welch (D-7th) Chief Sponsor, Senator Don Harmon (D-39th) Chief Co-Sponsor & Mony Ruiz-Velasco, Executive Director PASO – West Suburban Action Project