News Local/State

Governor Signs Bill Blocking State Police Arrests On Immigration Status


Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed a law Monday meant to protect immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally. That could create political problems on the governor’s right flank. The law is called the TRUST Act, and it prohibits Illinois police from arresting people based only on their immigration status, unless they have a warrant signed by a judge.

Until he signed it, Rauner was cagey about the idea — like in a recent appearance on Fox News.

“So are you going to sign that bill?” asked Fox News host Bret Baier.

“So our staff is evaluating that bill right now …” began Rauner’s reply.

Some conservatives, like State Rep. David McSweeney, say they’re confused by Rauner’s decision to sign the legislation on a day the Illinois House is voting on a major education funding bill.

“What I don’t understand is why Gov. Bruce Rauner is in Chicago (my understanding is today), signing an act (SB31)  that'll make Illinois effectively a sanctuary state, and he’s not down here fighting the CPS (Chicago Public Schools) bailout," said McSweeney.

Bu the Illinois Republican Party sent out a news release Monday defending the TRUST Act, quoting law enforcement officials who supported it.

“Don’t believe what you may be hearing – this is not a sanctuary state bill!” Republican Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran was quoted as saying in the release. “The relationships built because of this bill will give police officers and investigators a much better chance at convincing victims and witnesses of violent crime to come forward.”

Rauner’s re-election campaign will require him to thread the needle between conservative backers of tougher immigration enforcement, and the more moderate voters of a state that tends to vote Democratic.