About the Illinois TRUST Act

The Illinois TRUST Act seeks to protect and build trust between law enforcement agencies and immigrant communities by limiting local police involvement in federal immigration enforcement.

The Problem: Police entanglement in federal immigration enforcement.

As the federal government ramps up immigration enforcement, it has increasingly entangled state and local law enforcement agencies. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) received information from police and sheriff's departments through shared databases and data-sharing mechanisms like the controversial "Secure Communities" program. The Trump Administration is also trying to enlist law enforcement through such programs as 287(g) that deputize officers to carry on immigration enforcement work, and through requests to participate in or coordinate with ICE operations.

When police engage with immigration authorities, the trust that police must rely upon to effectively catch and prosecute wrongdoers gets undermined. Nearly half of all Latinos (regardless of status( are less likely to report crimes for fear of being questioned about their status. Already many survivors of domestic violence end up being arrested alongside their abusers and as a result get fed into the deportation pipeline. The President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing, noting the need to build trust between police and immigrant communities, specifically recommended "decoupl[ing] federal immigration enforcement from routine local policing for civil enforcement and nonserious crime."

Immigration enforcement also disrupts our economy. Undocumented immigrants, who make up 4% of our state's population, represent 7.8% of all Illinois entrepreneurs. The undocumented earned $7.8 billion in 2014, and paid $916 million in federal, state, and local taxes. Deporting these immigrants would severely damage many sectors of our state's economy, such as manufacturing, hospitality, and construction. 

Finally, immigration enforcement destroys families. Two-thirds of undocumented immigrants have lived in the US for at least 10 years. In Illinois, 90% of households with at least one undocumented immigrant also has at least one member who is lawfully present – in most cases a US citizen relative. Deporting the undocumented would wreck hundreds of thousands of Illinois families and in particular damage a generation of children of immigrants.

The Solution: Illinois TRUST Act

The Illinois TRUST Act builds on policies developed in other communities to set reasonable, constitutional limits on local police interaction with ICE enforcement, and foster trust between local police and immigrant communities. This legislation would mean that

  • Local police cannot comply with immigration detainers and warrants not issued by a judge.  Federal courts have consistently held that immigration detainers are not mandatory.  These courts have ruled that detaining an individual based on a detainer, without a judge finding probable cause to hold that person, violates the Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution and can subject the law enforcement agency to lawsuits.
  • Local police also cannot stop, search, or arrest anyone based on that person’s immigration or citizenship status. 
  • Local police can still act upon a valid enforceable federal warrant, and can still otherwise communicate with ICE.


For more information, please contact:

Fred Tsao at ICIRR, 312-332-7360 x213 or ftsao@icirr.org;

Mony Ruiz-Velasco at PASO, 708-410-2000 or mony@pasoaction.org;

Andy Kang @ AAAJ, 773-271-0899 x 222 or akang@advancingjustice-chicago.org

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