Making Illinois a Better Place for Everyone: NIJC helps pass slate of bills that protect immigrant rights
Friend, we wanted to share some much needed good news! As a member of the Campaign for a Welcoming Illinois, a coalition of organizations dedicated to improving immigrant rights in Illinois, the National Immigrant Justice Center is proud to have helped pass a number of bills in the Illinois General Assembly this session that will increase rights and safeguards for immigrants in our state. Today, Governor Pritzker signed several of them into law.
Your calls, emails, tweets, and voices put these bills across the finish line. We invite you celebrate these wins with us, because YOU helped make them happen.
Keep Illinois Families Together Act (HB 1637)prevents local police from entering into 287(g) agreements, which U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) use to deputize local police to act as ICE agents. In the first 16 months of the Trump administration, local law enforcement agencies helped ICE deport more than 12,000 immigrants through these agreements nationwide. Preventing their use in Illinois will help keep more families together and safe.
Private Detention Facility Moratorium Act (HB 2040)bars state or local government agencies from contracting with private prison companies to build or operate detention centers in Illinois. For-profit immigration jails are known for their inhumane conditions: overcrowding, freezing temperatures, rotting food, and exorbitant rates for phone calls and commissary items. As a country, we must stop spending billions of taxpayer dollars for mass incarceration and instead invest in community-based alternatives that promote family unity. NIJC is grateful that Illinois has moved one step closer toward that vision.
RISE Act (HB 2691) provides access to financial aid for undocumented students, transgender students, and communities of color disproportionately impacted by limitations on aid. This bill allows undocumented students—and others who are ineligible to receive federal student aid—to qualify for in-state tuition and other forms of State financial aid.
And we expect Governor Pritzker to sign the following bills soon:
HB 1553better enables abused, abandoned, or neglected immigrant youths to seek the state court orders needed to apply for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS). SIJS provides an avenue for children who have been abused or abandoned by one of their parents, and who cannot return to their home countries, to obtain lawful immigrant status in the United States. This law will allow many of our youngest and most vulnerable residents to stay safe, and eventually get on the road to citizenship.
HB 836authorizes short-term guardianships for children whose parents are detained or deported. This law will help protect parental rights while also ensuring children have access to caregivers in the wake of an ICE enforcement operation.
Celebrate these victories—and fund the next ones—by donating whatever amount you’re able to today!