May Day Statement: The TRUST Act is the single most important safeguard Illinois can enact to help protect our communities

On this historic day for immigrants, refugees and workers, the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights is proud to join the national day of resistance with our national partners, in the Fair Immigration Reform Movement, whose member organizations have planned 259 events across the U.S. in 41 states, to show the power and resilience of immigrant and refugee communities in America.

This year, May Day has special significance.  Since January, immigrant and refugee communities have come under unprecedented attacks from the federal government. From banning millions of people on the outside from entering, to criminalizing immigrants inside the country, the White House’s racist and Islamophobic policies have terrorized not just those groups targeted, but all of us.

Bad news from Washington has not stopped. Just this weekend, we learned that Congress reached a deal on the federal budget which gives the White House an additional $1.5 Billion dollars to enforce their racist immigration priorities. Our message to Democrats and Republicans alike is clear: we are watching and we see this collaboration with a White House that wants to to further criminalize and separate families appalling and unacceptable.

Since January, we have seen the raids on immigrant families escalating. Immigrants have been unlawfully detained, and mothers being ripped from their children.

Today, we are calling on our State elected officials to listen to the people gathered here today, and to act to protect not only immigrants and refugees, but all our communities.  We need you today to fully support passing the Illinois TRUST Act, which will likely be up for a full vote this week. The TRUST Act is the single most important safeguard Illinois can enact to help protect our communities against the racist, xenophobic policies of the White House and US Attorney General.

The TRUST Act will help keep federal immigration enforcement separate from local law enforcement, will enact safe zones in communities, will help immigrant crime victims seek legal assistance, and prevent Illinois from participating in any sort of discriminatory registry.

Today we’re joining tens of thousands of people across the country who will demonstrate that the power, resilience and strength of America is a diverse coalition of people who seek peace and unity.

Our communities will not stand for attacks on each other--that is what makes us powerful.

Everyone deserves to live in peace. Keeping families together is a human value, and it must be defended with everything we have.