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Legislation Would Block Illinois Police From Acting As ICE Deputies

Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer
Illinois lawmakers approved legislation meant to prevent local police from being deputized as Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers. It now goes to the governor's desk.

Illinois lawmakers approved legislation banning local police officers from acting as Immigration and Customs Enforcement deputies.

federal training program allows local law enforcement ask people about their immigration status and make arrests for immigration violations.

Illinois police would not be allowed to participate under legislation passed by the General Assembly.

Mony Ruiz-Velasco, an immigrants rights activist with PASO - West Suburban Action Project, said Illinois families fear separation just like those at the U.S.-Mexico border.

“We don’t want the police asking people for their papers when they’re going to the store or when they’re dropping their kids at school,” Ruiz-Velasco said. “The police and ICE agreements are a threat to our public safety — for all of our communities.”

Sponsoring state Rep. Celina Villanueva, a Democrat from Chicago, said it’s an important step toward keeping Illinois families together.

“These types of programs have a well documented record of injecting bias and ethnic stereotyping into policing practices, and at least one Illinois county has already applied,” Villanueva said.

The McHenry County Sheriff applied late last year for the ICE training. They haven’t been approved.

The legislation still needs Governor J.B. Pritzker’s signature to become law.

The legislation is House Bill 1637.