SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – A new state law sponsored by state Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia, D-Aurora, will increase trust between immigrant communities and law enforcement by preventing undocumented immigrants with no criminal backgrounds from being detained.
“Our country is a nation of immigrants and it’s important that we welcome people who are seeking a better life for themselves and their families,” Chapa LaVia said. “This measure will help our law enforcement officers improve their relationships with hard-working immigrant families through greater trust and cooperation.”
Chapa LaVia sponsored Senate Bill 31, known as the Illinois TRUST Act, which would set reasonable limits on local law enforcement from engaging in the enforcement of federal immigration policies by:
- Preventing local law enforcement from potentially violating the United States Constitution by holding people at the request of federal immigration authorities without a warrant;
- Prohibit stopping, searching, arresting or detaining an individual solely based on their citizenship or immigration status.
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. Senate Bill 31 allows Illinois to join other states, including California, Connecticut and Rhode Island, to have restrictions in place which limit cooperation between local law enforcement and federal agents.
“This is a great day for immigrants and their families across Illinois,” Chapa LaVia said. “The more welcoming we become, long lasting trust can be established between immigrant communities and local law enforcement. Illinois has sent a message to Donald Trump and his allies that his rhetoric and hatred are not welcome here.”