Countdown for Illinois to become Sanctuary State
Community and religious groups today urged Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner to sign "as soon as possible" the Trust Act that will turn the state into a sanctuary for undocumented immigrants.
"We have seven weeks left to develop strategies that will allow us to encourage the governor to enact the law," Artemio Arreola, political director of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR), told Efe.
The Republican governor has until midnight on August 28 to sign the law, veto it or let it into effect.
The activist noted that the bill won Republican and Democratic majority votes in the state Legislature.
The law, as it has been in the city of Chicago for 43 years, will force police throughout Illinois not to ask about the immigration status of the people, or to stop them for being undocumented.
The measure will also create "safe zones" where Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents will not be able to enter, such as schools, churches and hospitals, unless they file a warrant for arrest.
Likewise, no Illinois police department should work with ICE on immigration issues through the controversial Safe Communities and 287g programs, revived by the Trump Administration.
Registration of aliens based on nationalities or religions, such as the one proposed by the president for Muslims, will also be banned and the use of private prisons to detain undocumented migrants pending deportation.
"These are very important safeguards for Illinois immigrants, at a time when the federal government is using everything in its power to increase and accelerate deportations," Arriola said.
ICIRR and other organizations such as the Jewish Council for Urban Affairs, Latin Women in Action, the National Center for Immigrant Justice and several clubs of Mexican origin held an informative event on the law today, with musical activities and theater performances on the protections that will be offered.