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A Republican governor is under fire for this bill protecting illegal immigrants

The governor of Illinois signed a bill Monday protecting immigrants from arrest and detainment solely on the basis of immigration status. (David McNew/Getty Images)

Illinois Republican Governor Bruce Rauner is under fire from members of his own party after signing legislation Monday that some say is turning Illinois into a "sanctuary state."

Rauner signed the Illinois TRUST Act, which prevents law enforcement agencies and officials from detaining individuals solely on the basis of immigration detainers or administrative warrants and also puts limitations on the ways immigration agents can operate within the state of Illinois.

The law is frustrating to the Justice Department, which has pushed for tougher immigration policies at the direction of Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Rauner, however, claims the bill is not meant to make Illinois a sanctuary state, and that state and local law enforcement will continue to communicate with federal immigration and law enforcement officers.

What the TRUST Act will do, specifically

"Provides that a law enforcement agency or official shall not detain or continue to detain any individual solely on the basis of any immigration detainer or administrative warrant, or otherwise comply with an immigration detainer or administrative warrant after that individual becomes eligible for release from custody."

Translation: Law enforcement can't arrest or hold someone just based on immigration status. They would need a criminal warrant.



Law enforcement shall not:

  1. Give any immigration agent access to any individual
  2. Transfer any person into an immigration agent's custody
  3. Permit immigration agents use of agency facilities or equipment for investigative purposes in immigration enforcement operations
  4. Respond to immigration agent inquiries regarding any individual's incarceration status that's not public information

Translation: Federal immigration officers are on their own in Illinois, and can expect to run into some roadblocks when coordinating with state and local law enforcement.

"...absent a judicial warrant or probable cause of criminal activity, a government official shall not make arrests in the following State-funded facilities or their adjacent grounds..."

Translation: State institutions such as schools, colleges and hospitals, among others, are protected areas from arrests on the basis of immigration status.

You can read the full text of the bill here.

What people are saying

Department of Justice spokesman Devin O'Malley: "As the Attorney General has said, when cities and states refuse to help enforce immigration laws, our nation is less safe. Failure to deport aliens who are convicted for criminal offenses puts whole communities at risk -- especially immigrant communities in the very sanctuary jurisdictions that seek to protect the perpetrators." (Fox News)

Republican state Senator Kyle McCarter: "I said this could be the last straw, and every day I'm feeling it worse. And this isn't just the 'right wing' that's angry. These are union members too, loyal union men trying to protect American jobs, and the last thing they need to see is a Republican governor making Illinois a sanctuary state." (Chicago Tribune)

The Federation for American Immigration Reform: "We think it is a dangerous bill that puts public safety at risk in order to accommodate some very narrow political interests. The governor was absolutely wrong to sign this bill." (Fox News)

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner: "We have to put priority on keeping the people of America safe and making sure that we have laws that we enforce and that the laws are rational and enforced everywhere. Immigration in America is broken. We make illegal immigration in America easy, and we make legal immigration almost impossible." (Fox News)

Illinois Democratic Representative Emmanuel Welch: "Immigrants in our community should not have to feel unsafe when they go to work or take their children to school." (Fox News)

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