SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND) - Governor JB Pritzker's administration and Attorney General Kwame Raoul are working to protect immigrant families and encouraging them to, "know your rights."
Amidst President Donald Trump's call for immigration raids, Gov. Pritzker and AG Raoul said they are committed to offering protection.
"Immigrants are an essential part of what makes this country great. In Illinois, we welcome and protect them, despite threats from President Trump," said Governor JB Pritzker. "In the face of a coordinated attempt by the President to stoke fear, exploit division, and force families into the shadows, Illinois stands as a firewall against the president's attacks on our immigrant communities. To every hardworking immigrant resident of our great state: Illinois is and always will be a welcoming state for all."
"Despite what the President would have people believe, every Illinois resident has constitutional rights, regardless of citizenship or immigration status," said Attorney General Kwame Raoul. "I urge every immigrant to Know Your Rights – the first one being that you do not have to open your door to immigration agents. I also encourage Illinois law enforcement agencies to review my office's Guidance to Law Enforcement, which details changes to state law, to ensure they do not violate those rights."
Gov. Pritzker has directed all state agencies that the state of Illinois will not coordinate with ICE on federal immigration enforcement. The governor also signed two pieces of legislation into law last month, the Keep Illinois Families Together Act and the Private Detention Facility Moratorium Act.
The Keep Illinois Families Together Act prohibits local law enforcement agencies from engaging in federal immigration enforcement with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. It took effect on June 21, 2019.
The Private Detention Facility Moratorium Act bans immigrant detention centers in the state of Illinois. It halted the proposed federally-run center in Dwight, Ill. The bill prohibits state, county and local governments from entering any agreement or making any financial transactions with a private detention facility, with an exception for contracts with providers of ancillary services such as medical or food services. This law made Illinois the first state in the nation to ban private civil detention centers. It also took effect on June 21, 2019.
The Attorney General's office updated its Guidance to Law Enforcement to provide an overview of changes to Illinois laws that include prohibitions on engaging in immigration enforcement.
The Attorney General is also reminding immigrant residents of the office's free Know Your Rights resources. The materials are available in several languages and guides residents on situations where they are confronted by a police officer or immigration agent in public or at home.
The Attorney General's office is also encouraging people to contact the office to report instances of discrimination or harassment by calling its Civil Rights Hotline at 1-877-581-3692.