MOLINE, Illinois – While some states are moving towards stricter anti-immigration laws, Illinois legislators are seeking to erase fear from the immigrant community.
“The name of the bill itself is telling– it’s the Illinois trust act,” says Maria Bribriesco.
“It’s important for Illinois to pass this law to make a statement that this is a welcoming place,” says Maria Ontiveros.
Senate bill 31 or the TRUST ACT, will prevent local law enforcement from acting as ICE agents.
Under the bill local police cannot stop, search and arrest anyone based on immigration status, unless there is a court issued warrant.
Supporters of the bill say this will prevent racial profiling and encourage immigrants to report crimes without the fear of retribution.
“A lot of people are afraid to call authorities, because of the events that have happened, even though it doesn’t happen around here a lot,” says Jose Ramos.
LULAC representative Maria Bribriesco says the bill will also protect immigrants from becoming crime victims.
“If you’re being bullied, if there’s crime being committed against you, you can call law enforcement officers and they will come and help you like they’re supposed too,” says Bribriesco.
Bribriesco says the measure would not only build trust, but allow police departments to use their limited resources on serving and protecting their communities.
“State and local law enforcement and officials are not being funded to do the work of federal immigration,” says Bribriesco.
“They already have enough on their plate to worry about, that’s just one less thing they need to worry about,” says Ramos.
With the rise in hate crimes and rallies across the country, some say it’s crucial for the bill to pass.
“I never saw it this mainstream as it has been in the past 3 or 4 presidents that we’ve had,” says Ramos.