SPRINGFIELD, Ill. –State Rep. Chris Welch, D-Hillside, and state Rep. Elizabeth “Lisa” Hernandez, D-Cicero, member of the Latino Caucus, joined forces to pass legislation through the House that would give undocumented immigrants with no criminal backgrounds a peace of mind, and would foster trust between communities and local law enforcement.

“Generations of immigrants from every corner of the world have helped shape the unique character of our nation,” Welch said. “What makes our country truly great is the notion that no matter where you come from, you can live here and become an American. I urge the governor to make it clear to Washington and to the rest of the country that, in Illinois, diversity and inclusivity are valued over hate and intolerance.”

Welch and Hernandez are the Chief House Sponsors of 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:

• Barring local law enforcement from complying with an immigration detainer without a court-issued warrant,
• Barring law enforcement from detaining or continuing to detain someone solely based on an immigration detainer or non-judicial warrant, and
• 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. With Senate Bill 31, Illinois joins other states, including California, Connecticut, and Rhode Island, to have restrictions in place which limit cooperation between local law enforcement and federal agents.

“Now more than ever, it is crucial that we work together to ensure that all people be treated equally, fairly, and above all, humanely,” Hernandez said. “The anti-immigrant rhetoric of Donald Trump must be addressed, so I urge Gov. Rauner to sign the TRUST Act and reassure our community that Illinois does not tolerate hate.”

Senate Bill 31 has passed both the House and Senate and now heads to Gov. Rauner for consideration.


State Rep. Chris Welch and state Rep. Lisa Hernandez.

Rep Emanuel Chris WelchRep Emanuel Chris Welch

7th District

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