SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WEEK) — Illinois House Democrats are moving forward legislation to make Illinois a sanctuary state for illegal immigrants.
The Keep Families Together Act (HB 1637) would limit immigration enforcement at public schools and universities, libraries, hospitals, and courthouses.
The city of Chicago is already considered a sanctuary city. President Donald Trump has threatened in the past to withhold federal policing grants from such cities and states. Last year, a federal judge ruled against that move by the Department of Justice.
Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul filed suit against U.S. Attorney General William Barr and the Department of Justice on Wednesday, alleging the department is illegally withholding law enforcement grants until Illinois authorities are required to notify federal immigration agents about undocumented immigrants in custody.
More recently, the president said he’s considering releasing undocumented migrants into sanctuary cities.
The legislation would also bar law enforcement officials and agencies from inquiring about a person’s citizenship status.
Several other communities across the state, including Normal, have declared themselves “Welcoming Cities.”
“I represent people back home in my district who are scared,” state Sen. Don Harmon (D-Oak Park), a supporter of the legislation, said. “The toxicity coming out of Washington D.C. is horrible. We should take steps locally to tell the people we represent: ‘we’re sorry you’re scared. We’re going to try to do whatever we can to make you a little bit less scared today.’”
The bill is currently moving through the House.