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State lawmakers inch closer to ban on working with federal immigration officials

By Benjamin Yount
The Center Square

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois lawmakers are close to another new law that would ban local police departments and sheriff’s offices across the state from working with federal immigration officials.

The Illinois Trust Act already bans local cops and deputies from working with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Supporters said the Keep Illinois Families Together Act would double down on that policy.

State Sen. Don Harmon said the idea is to make sure local jails don’t flag people who are in this country illegally.

“This really does one, and only one critical thing,” Harmon told Senators on Wednesday. “It would preclude local Illinois law enforcement from entering into what are called 287-G agreements with ICE, thereby deputizing local police as de facto ICE agents.”

The Illinois Sheriffs’ Association doesn’t like the idea.

“The Trust Act did preclude us from being able to do those activities,” Jim Kaitschuk with the Sheriffs’ Association said. “This goes a step further. It says [we] not only cannot act on the street as an ICE agent, which we are precluded from today, we also cannot do that with regard to any of the processing in the jail.”

The plan is headed for a vote in the full Illinois Senate. The House approved the idea earlier in the week.

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