Yesterday, the US Department of Justice issued letters to 29 jurisdictions – including the State of Illinois – threatening to withhold federal law enforcement grant money from these jurisdictions based on a flawed application of a federal law that prohibits state and local policies that restrict the sharing of “information regarding… citizenship or immigration status.” The State of Illinois was identified due to the recent enactment of the TRUST Act.
Rebecca Glenberg, senior staff counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, responded:
The Sessions Department of Justice recklessly continues to threaten state and local law enforcement agencies in an effort to strong-arm these jurisdictions into helping the Trump administration detain and deport as many immigrants as possible.
The Illinois TRUST Act says that a law enforcement agency may not detain someone on behalf of immigration authorities or provide them notice of their release date, without a federal warrant signed by a judge. The notion that the TRUST Act violates a federal law is a gross misreading of both Illinois and federal law.
State and local law enforcement agencies know that refraining from immigration enforcement and respecting the constitutional rights of immigrants actually enhances public safety – which is why so-called sanctuary jurisdictions have lower rates of crime than non-sanctuary jurisdictions.