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In a victory for both public safety and for immigrants, Illinois’ Republican Governor Bruce Rauner signed the Trust Act into law today. The legislation will ensure that law enforcement throughout Illinois focus on protecting public safety instead of targeting immigrants for deportation. It encourages immigrants to come forward to report crimes and serve as witnesses without the fear that involvement with law enforcement will result in ICE ripping their families apart. This bill defies the push by President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions to compel local law enforcement to act as de facto deportation agents.
As the Chicago Tribune reported, Gov. Rauner “said he had sought out the opinion of law enforcement as he was contemplating whether to sign or veto the bill … ‘They all said to me, governor, this is a reasonable compromise, it will help us do our jobs better, it will help us keep our communities safer.”
Some of these same law enforcement voices spoke out in favor of the law at a press event ahead of the bill signing, per ThinkProgress.
In an editorial praising Gov. Rauner’s decision to sign the bill, the Chicago Tribune called the Trust Act “a smart move for Illinois,” noting that the legislation “will make our communities safer and our economy stronger” and “would give immigrants some peace of mind as they go about their lives — working, shopping, paying taxes and contributing to their communities” and “would promote trust between immigrants and police.”
According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice Education Fund:
Congratulations to the advocates throughout Illinois who fought so hard to bring this bill across the finish line. It passed with bipartisan support, has the support of law enforcement and was signed into law by a Republican governor. It is a stinging rebuke to the push by Donald Trump to deport millions and do so by compelling the collusion of local police and diverting them from their primary purpose. With this landmark bill, Illinois underscores that it is a state that welcomes immigrants, values their contributions, and wants no part of aiding and abetting Trump’s deportation force. We hope Governor Jerry Brown of California takes notice. He is currently working on the final shape of a similar bill, the California Values Act, and we implore him to keep the bill as clear and strong as the new Illinois law.