Illinois Trust Act Press ReleaseCHICAGO — Legislation that would protect immigrants and restore trust between immigrant communities and local police was the focus of a press conference attended today by Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago), other legislators and the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights. 

“There has been real fear and concern in the immigrant community after President Trump was elected,” Martinez said. “Illinois needs to show leadership by protecting immigrants from federal overreach. This proposal ensures that people aren’t deported while going to the hospital for medical treatment or when dropping their kids off at school.”

The initiative, Senate Bill 31, which would create the Illinois Trust Act, has the key components listed below:

• Clarifies that state and local police are not deputized immigration agents and therefore are not expected to expend resources enforcing or complying with federal civil immigration detainers and administrative warrants.

• Prohibits law enforcement agencies from using state resources to create discriminatory federal registries based on race, national origin, religion or other protected classes.

• Establishes safe zones at schools, medical facilities, and properties operated by the Illinois secretary of state, where federal immigration enforcement would not be admitted without a valid criminal warrant.

• Establish deadlines for police to complete certification forms that are requested by immigrant victims of violent crimes who cooperate with police. The certifications are among the requirements for immigrant crime victims to apply for certain visas.

• The measure would not prevent state and local police from conducting valid criminal investigations or serving criminal warrants. They also would be able to work with federal immigration agents to serve valid warrants.

Additionally, the legislation prohibits state and local police from searching, arresting, or detaining a person based solely on citizenship or immigration status or an administrative warrant.

“We need to work on rebuilding trust between law enforcement and immigrant communities,” Martinez said. “Local police departments should have assurance that they don’t have to enforce federal immigration laws.”

Martinez is a co-sponsor of the Illinois Trust Act in the Senate.

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