State Legislation: Gov Signs 3 Laws To Protect Undocumented Immigrants

State Legislation: Gov Signs 3 Laws To Protect Undocumented Immigrants

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker signed a package of legislation Friday aimed at protecting undocumented immigrants.

The three laws ban immigration detention center, prohibit local law enforcers from coordinating efforts with Immigration and Customs Enforcement and makes undocumented students eligible for Monetary Award Program grants and institutional aid.

“Let me be perfectly clear: The state of Illinois stands as a firewall against Donald Trump’s attacks on our immigrant communities,” he said. “We will ensure that every student in this state who wants to go to college should be able to do so without saddling themselves with debt for the rest of their lives.”

The following is a summary of the three pieces of legislation.

All three bills take effect immediately.

House Bill 2040 — Private Detention Facility Moratorium Act

HB 2040 bans immigrant detention centers in the state of Illinois, halting a proposed federally-run center in Dwight.

Specifically, 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 makes Illinois the first state in the nation to ban private civil detention centers, after the state already banned private criminal detention centers.

House Bill 1637 — Keep Illinois Families Together Act

HB 1637 prohibits local law enforcement agencies from engaging in federal immigration enforcement with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

While local law enforcement agencies in 21 states, including Wisconsin, participate in the 287(g) Program — an ICE program that allows local law enforcement officials to identify and remove undocumented residents from the U.S. — Illinois now statutorily prohibits participation.

House Bill 2691 — Retention of Illinois Students and Equity Act

HB 2691 allows undocumented and transgender students to received MAP grants and institutional aid at public institutions.

The Illinois Student Assistance Commission estimates that 3,500 additional students will qualify for a MAP grant as a result of this new law.

While citizenship status and registration in selective service are required for federal financial aid, any Illinois resident is now qualified for state financial aid.

The bill also allows students who used MAP grants to help pay for at least 75 credit hours to continue receiving scholarships rather than cut them off until they attain junior status.

SOURCE: state of Illinois news release