Ill. Gov. Pritzker signs law banning cooperation between local police and ICE

Police lights. Photo: Pixabay/Diego Para

Aug. 3 (UPI) — Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Monday signed a new measure into law which in effect bans cooperation between local law enforcement and federal immigration authorities.

Hailing the measures as key step toward “expanding protections for immigrant and refugee communities,” Pritzker signed four bills passed this year by the state Legislature, one of which prohibits state or local governments from signing contracts with the federal government to “unjustly detain immigrants.”

“Throughout my governorship I’ve directed my administration to adopt policies that make Illinois a welcoming state for immigrants, and I’m proud to sign these accountability measures into law to advance our cause,” he said in a statement.

“Every family, every child, every human being deserves to feel safe and secure in the place they call home. I am committed to making sure that value defines what it means to live in Illinois.”

The governor signed the bill during a ceremony at a high school in Aurora, Ill.

The new law will “make Illinois the second state in the nation to require all officials to end partnerships with (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) by the end of this year,” he said.

Known as the Illinois Way Forward Act, SB 667 was approved by state lawmakers in May as a way to strengthen the provisions of an existing law known as the TRUST Act.

It calls for local officials to end existing contracts with ICE to detain those in immigration custody by Jan. 1 and prohibits any future contracts between local law enforcement or any other state or local agency with federal immigration officials.

Rep. Lisa Hernandez, Democratic majority leader in the Illinois House of Representatives, praised the bill for putting an end to deals struck between immigration enforcement agencies and local law enforcement.

Those arrangements, she said, were used “to target people who pose no threat to public safety, which just drives fear in immigrant and Latino communities and breaks the trust between people and law enforcement.”

The other bills signed Monday expand protections for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients by adding a new definition for “work authorization status” to the Illinois Human Rights Act; amend the state’s criminal code to include hate crimes based on citizenship and immigration status; and create a statewide task force to study how state policies and programs affect immigrant residents.

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