WESTCHESTER, Ill. –Legislation sponsored by state Rep. Chris Welch, D-Hillside, aimed at preventing undocumented immigrants with no criminal backgrounds from being detained by law enforcement and increasing trust between communities and local law enforcement was signed into law today.

“Our nation was built by generations of immigrants who came to the United States to build a better life for themselves and their families,” Welch said. “Illinois should be a leader in making sure that immigrants continue to be welcomed with open arms to our country. This legislation sends a loud and clear message to President Trump, Washington politicians and to the rest of the country that, in Illinois, diversity and inclusivity are valued over hate and intolerance.”

Welch is the Chief House Sponsor 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,
• Prohibiting 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. Welch’s 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.

“Immigrants in our community should not have feel unsafe when they go to work or take their children to school,” Welch said. “This legislation will ensure that proper legal procedures are being followed and provide peace of mind to members of our community.”

Rep Emanuel Chris WelchRep Emanuel Chris Welch

7th District

Visit Rep Welch’s website

Springfield Office:
200-5S Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-8120
(217) 524-0448 FAX

District Office:
10055 W. Roosevelt Rd.
Suite E
Westchester, IL 60154
(708) 450-1000
(708) 450-1104 FAX