SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Elizabeth “Lisa” Hernandez, D-Cicero, member of the Latino Caucus, and state Rep. Chris Welch, D-Hillside, are joining forces to foster trust between local law enforcement and immigrant communities, giving undocumented immigrants with no criminal backgrounds a peace of mind.
“I believe in an inclusive and forward-thinking Illinois, and the anti-immigrant agenda of President Trump requires our immediate attention. This legislation will not only protect immigrant families, but it will cultivate trust between the community and local police,” Hernandez said. “We must work together and fight against those that seek to divide us, and it’s my sincere hope that Gov. Rauner will work with us to reassure our community that immigrants are welcomed in Illinois.”
Hernandez and Welch are the Chief House Sponsors of Senate Bill 31, which would set reasonable limits on local law enforcement from engaging in the enforcement of federal immigration policies by:
• Barring local police from engaging with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents without a court-issued warrant,
• Barring federal agents from making arrests in state-funded schools and health facilities,
• Banning participation in a federal registry based on country of origin or religion, and
• Strengthening legal protections for immigrant victims of crimes.
According to the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), immigrant communities are more likely to report crimes and cooperate with police if they trust their immigration status will not be made an issue. Communities with more welcoming policies also show lower crime rates as undocumented immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than native-born citizens. Currently, California, Connecticut, and Rhode Island have restrictions in place to limit cooperation between local law enforcement and ICE agents. The California State Senate recently approved further state-level changes, and several state legislatures and the District of Columbia have introduced welcoming legislation.
“Working to build trust is a critical goal we need to accomplish,” Welch said. “The atmosphere that has been created as a result of Trump’s election is a toxic one that needs to be addressed and confronted. Doing that will send a message of unity across the state and country.”
Senate Bill 31 has been assigned to the House Executive Committee, and awaits consideration.
Visit Rep Lisa Hernandez website
229-E Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 558-1844 FAX
2137 S. Lombard
Cicero, IL 60804
(708) 222-5241 FAX