Gov. Rauner Says TRUST Act Is Currently ‘Under Review’

August 16, 2017

Seth Perlman/AP

In a change from a commitment Gov. Bruce Rauner had previously made to immigrant rights groups, the Illinois TRUST Act, a bill that would limit the ways local police help federal authorities enforce immigration law, is currently “under review.”

Immigrant rights groups have been waiting for Gov. Rauner to sign the bill, which was sent to the Governor’s desk in June. Earlier this month, immigrant rights groups publicly thanked Governor Rauner for committing to sign the bill.

"This summer, his team did confirm that he is committed to signing it. So it is our expectation, that he will be signing this bill,” Andy Kang, legal director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice Chicago and one of the authors of the bill, said on The 21st on Tuesday. "We hope that we can follow-up with him, get a bill signing location and date established, and really celebrate this as a win for the community.”

But in an interview with Fox News last Friday, Governor Rauner told Bret Baier that his staff “is evaluating that bill right now...We’re going to evaluate it and then we’ll make an announcement about how we’re going to deal with that.”

A spokeswoman with Governor Rauner’s office confirmed to The 21st on Wednesday that the TRUST Act is indeed “under review.”

Supporters of the bill describe the Act as designed to “clarify” the relationship between local law enforcement and ICE agents.

The TRUST Act, or Senate Bill 31, includes provisions designed to protect unauthorized immigrants from federal immigration agents by limiting the role of state and local law enforcement. Local police would be barred from helping Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents detain unauthorized immigrants unless those detainer requests include a warrant from a judge. Local authorities would also be prohibited from arresting anyone solely on the basis of their immigration status.

“A lot of undocumented immigrants that live in Illinois - roughly, nearly a half million - have a lot of fear about contacting law enforcement to report crimes or emergencies,” Kang said on Tuesday. “Partially because there’s a lot of uncertainty about whether law enforcement is actively cooperating with federal immigration authorities.”

Asian Americans Advancing Justice Chicago, one of the groups that helped write the bill, said on Wednesday that they were also reaching out to the governor's office for clarification on whether or not he would sign the bill. 

Gov. Rauner has until August 28 to sign the TRUST Act into law or veto it.