CHICAGO - Immigration advocacy groups are reporting Friday morning that Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has committed to signing into law a bill that would make every public school, daycare center, preschool, public university, nursing home, hospital and medical facility in Illinois a sanctuary location for illegal aliens avoiding law enforcement. The bill also includes motor vehicle offices and court houses.
With the state in such dire financial straits, and the governor and his staff wholeheartedly fighting to correct the state's fiscal condition, ignoring the $4.6 billion the approximate 550,000 illegals cost the state each year seemed uncharacteristic.
So Illinois Review reached out to the Federation for American Immigration Reform with a few questions about the effect SB 31 could have on the state of Illinois - in case Governor Rauner or his staff had not taken time to speak with experts opposing the measure.
Q: In light of Attorney General Jeff Sessions recent suggestions about cutting off federal funds to counties and municipalities that do not enforce federal immigration laws, how could a sanctuary law like SB 31 affect federally-funded facilities in Illinois?
Sanctuary jurisdictions – those locations that forbid the exchange of information between state and local employees and federal immigration enforcement officers - are a direct violation of federal law. These jurisdictions not only serve as a beacon to illegal immigration but also are a major public safety issue. That’s because once-dangerous criminal aliens are set to be released by local police, instead of being removed from the country, they are simply released back onto the streets of the local community.
For example, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) issues detainer requests for aliens who are in local custody and who it believes are removable from the United States. During a recent one week period, (January 28 to February 3, 2017) Travis County, Texas denied 142 ICE detainer requests , releasing aliens convicted of: assault (8); domestic violence (10) and DUI (14); or charged with: Indecent Exposure to a Minor/Child Sex Offense: 6; DUI (16) back onto the streets of Texas.
If Illinois moves forward with this law, it will not only face the loss of targeted federal funding, but could also face other federal sanctions by the Department of Justice, David Ray, director of FAIR's communications told Illinois Review.
Q: What kind of situations could persons working at these facilities face if this bill were to go into effect?
Laws vary from city to city, but in general, any state or local employees would be forbidden from asking the immigration status of anyone, including those who are incarcerated, those who are applying for a state identification card, those who are applying for public assistance, and possibly even those who are applying for jobs.
This law would take effect while the state of Illinois is crumbling under the weight of its budget deficit and ongoing debt, while also making it easier for illegal immigrants to not only live in the state of Illinois, but to take jobs away from U.S. citizens who should rightfully have them.
Q: Does any other state have a similar policy to Illinois’ SB 31 in effect?
California is an official sanctuary state, and Oregon, like Illinois, has sanctuary city legislation awaiting the governor’s signature.
Q: What are illegal aliens costing the state of Illinois per your studies?
It’s estimated that there are roughly 550,000 illegal aliens residing in the state of Illinois, at a cost to state and local taxpayers of roughly $4.6 billion annually. Nationally, it’s estimated that illegal aliens cost federal, and state and local taxpayers roughly $116 billion annually.
Immigration groups are thrilled with Governor Rauner's commitment to signing the bill into law.
“Illinois will soon have the strongest statewide protections for immigrants in the country. This is due to the tireless efforts of over 60 organizations from across the state that were part of the campaign to pass the TRUST Act,” said Lawrence Benito, chief executive officer at Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, one of the co-conveners of the campaign steering committee.
“This accomplishment is a testament to our communities’ power. It shows what we are collectively capable of during these trying times, and sets the stage for our next campaigns and future victories.”
See related Illinois Review stories on SB 31:
- FAMILIES WHOSE LOVED ONES WERE KILLED BY ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS DEVASTATED BY RAUNER COMMITMENT TO SANCTUARY LAW
- HOUSE TO CONSIDER PROTECTING IMMIGRATION LAW EVADERS WHERE IL'S MOST VULNERABLE GATHER
- BILL MAKING EVERY ILLINOIS SCHOOL, HOSPITAL, NURSING HOME A SANCTUARY LOCATION SITS ON RAUNER'S DESK
- RAUNER COMMITS TO SIGNING SANCTUARY BILL