Will the Illinois Trust Act Protect Immigrants?

The Illinois Trust Act will help protect undocumented individuals and their families living in Illinois from deportation. Due to President Trump’s anti-immigration agenda, many Illinois undocumented immigrants have expressed deportation fears to an immigration lawyer.

What is the Illinois Trust Act?

With rising tension and concerns for undocumented individuals and families in Illinois, state lawmakers are taking steps to protect immigrants. The Illinois Trust Act is designed to enhance and encourage trust between immigrants and law enforcement officials, set constitutional limits on what is expected of local police while enforcing immigration policies, and provide specific safe zones for undocumented individuals and their families who are living in fear of possible deportation. The Illinois Trust Act passed out of the Senate Executive Committee on April 5, 2017, and is now headed to the full Senate for a vote. If passed, legislation will:

  • Prohibit state and local law enforcement officials from conducting searches or detaining undocumented immigrants based solely upon their immigration status, citizenship or warrants without a court order.
  • Prohibit state and local law enforcement agencies from participating in discriminatory federal registries based on race, national origin, religion, or other protected classes.
  • Provide safe zones for immigrants at hospitals and medical facilities, courts, and schools, and prohibit federal officials from making arrests in safe zones without valid criminal warrants.
  • Prohibit the use of private Illinois prisons for detaining undocumented immigrants.

Impact on the Economy

In Illinois, undocumented immigrants make up approximately 4 percent of the state’s population. Many working immigrants fill important positions within the state’s construction, manufacturing and hospitality industries. In addition, immigrants represent about 7.8 percent of entrepreneurs in the state. In 2014, undocumented immigrants earned approximately $7.8 billion and paid approximately $916 million in local, state and federal taxes. Under President Trump’s current anti-immigration agenda, many Illinois immigrants are fearful of losing their jobs and are seeking answers about job loss and deportation through an immigration lawyer.

The budget for local and state law enforcement agencies is limited. Deputizing local police to carry out immigration enforcement and using private jails to detain undocumented immigrants will put an additional burden on law enforcement budgets and create higher risks for public safety. If law enforcement officers are required to spend time pursuing and arresting immigrants, the danger of more serious crimes will increase throughout the state. The Illinois Trust Act will help undocumented immigrants keep their jobs, increase public safety, and contribute to a more stable Illinois economy.