CHICAGO— Last month, the Department of Justice issued letters to 29 jurisdictions across the country, including to the State of Illinois, threatening to withhold federal law enforcement grant money over their supposed non-compliance with a federal law that prohibits policies that restrict the sharing of “information regarding . . . citizenship or immigration status.” The DOJ’s letter to Illinois claimed that the State’s enactment of the TRUST Act put the State out of compliance, and it established a deadline of today, December 8, for the State of Illinois to demonstrate its compliance with the law.

The following statement can be attributed to Rebecca Glenberg, senior staff attorney at the ACLU of Illinois:

The State of Illinois should strongly and swiftly reject this latest attempt by the Trump Administration and Attorney General Jeff Sessions to accomplish through threats and coercion what they cannot do through the courts. The TRUST Act does not violate federal law—and is not a legitimate reason to withhold federal money. 

The letter to the State of Illinois closely mirrors those sent to the City of Chicago and Cook County earlier this year. But the law is clear: as courts in California, Chicago, and Philadelphia have recognized, President Trump and AG Sessions cannot force state and local governments to abandon their ongoing responsibilities to execute the deportation agenda of this Administration.

Safe and smart policies like the TRUST Act protect all people, regardless of citizenship status, while maintaining the rule of law and upholding the Constitution. The State of Illinois should reject this latest threat by the Trump Administration.