In the past eighteen months, the federal government has deployed increasingly cruel, unnecessary, and in some cases unlawful enforcement tactics against immigrants and their families.  These have included a ban on travel to the U.S. for people from predominantly Muslim countries, stops and arrests without individualized suspicion of wrongdoing, raids that indiscriminately sweep up everyone present at a workplace or other location; and enforcement actions at courthouses that target people appearing as witnesses or for other important court business.

Will you take steps to protect documented and undocumented immigrants in Illinois from harmful or unlawful immigration enforcement practices? If so, how? If not, why?




The federal government has constitutionally granted authority on immigration matters. It is apparent to me, that it may no longer be in the best interest of the people of Illinois and the people of other states to allow the government to be in charge of immigration matters. When the United States Constitution was written, a person had to physically-make landfall on a coastline to entire into America. In modern times, this is no longer the case as most states have their own international airport. 
In order to allow states to manage their own immigration issues, it would require a federal constitutional amendment, which I would support. In the event this would happen it would be up to law makers to determine how to proceed on immigration matters.
Under the current scenario involving immigration, if the federal government wants Illinois to enforce federal laws, then the federal government needs to provide adequate funding for that enforcement and the federal government needs to take responsibility for placing improper ICE detainers on America citizens. The 10th Amendment of the United States Constitution prevents the federal government from commandeering state officials and forcing them to do the work of the federal government. The federal government actually uses this argument to avoid civil liability when the federal government tells the state government to detain American citizens, pointing out that they do not have the legal authority to force states to detain people, they just ask them to. This nonsense has to stop, and I will not allow the federal government to bully the state of Illinois into doing their job. 


I voted in support of the Illinois TRUST Act in the state Senate, and as attorney general, I will uphold this law in any context, including federal challenge or attempted retaliation through the withholding of federal funds. I will continue to advocate for policies that protect immigrants living in Illinois from unfair treatment, hate crimes and any other threats, and I will be a leading voice against federal efforts to undermine the trust between immigrants and law enforcement by attempting to force local and state police to serve as de facto immigration agents. Local and state police do not have the resources or training for this task and should be allowed to focus on preventing and solving crimes, not harassing peaceful residents based on their alleged immigration status. I support the current attorney general’s suit to block the federal government from denying law enforcement grants based on law enforcement’s posture of building trust rather than acting as immigration agents.

I have also supported legislation protecting immigrants’ access to schools, hospitals and courts, as well as a bill prohibiting housing discrimination based on immigration status. The governor recently vetoed these essential measures to bring all our residents out of the shadows and allow them fair treatment and access to justice, and I support overriding his actions. As attorney general, I will use the position and my advocacy influence on behalf of crime victims, regardless of immigration status or documentation, because everyone within our borders deserves justice and their day in court.

Finally, I have been outspoken in my opposition to the proposed inclusion of a citizenship question on the 2020 census, and I will continue to work with our U.S. senators, members of Illinois’ congressional delegation and allies throughout the country to prevent the use of the census as a means of intimidation.