Proposed Illinois bill to prevent unwarranted searches of immigrants

Nick+Esterman%2C+left%2C+junior+in+LAS%2C+and+Jeff+Schroeder%2C+sophomore+in+ENG%2C+walk+towards+the+State+Capital+Building+in+Springfield+on+Wednesday%2C+April+1%2C+2009.
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Proposed Illinois bill to prevent unwarranted searches of immigrants

Nick Esterman, left, junior in LAS, and Jeff Schroeder, sophomore in ENG, walk towards the State Capital Building in Springfield on Wednesday, April 1, 2009.

Nick Esterman, left, junior in LAS, and Jeff Schroeder, sophomore in ENG, walk towards the State Capital Building in Springfield on Wednesday, April 1, 2009.

The Daily Illini File Photo

Nick Esterman, left, junior in LAS, and Jeff Schroeder, sophomore in ENG, walk towards the State Capital Building in Springfield on Wednesday, April 1, 2009.

The Daily Illini File Photo

The Daily Illini File Photo

Nick Esterman, left, junior in LAS, and Jeff Schroeder, sophomore in ENG, walk towards the State Capital Building in Springfield on Wednesday, April 1, 2009.

By Aaron Navarro, Assistant Daytime News Editor

A group of Chicago area lawmakers have submitted a bill that would prevent law enforcement agencies from conducting unwarranted searches of undocumented immigrants.

HB0426, or the “Immigration Safe Zones Act,” would allow schools, places of worship and medical facilities to deny any searches for undocumented immigrants by local and state agencies without an appropriate warrant. The bill is currently awaiting consideration by the Illinois House of Representatives after having been passed by the Human Services Committee yesterday.

Illinois’ 11th district state representative Ann Williams is a co-sponsor of this bill.

“My colleagues and I are committed to ensuring equal treatment for all residents, and believe immigrants should be allowed to live without fear,” Williams said in an email. “We are a nation of immigrants … Our communities have been and continue to be strengthened by immigrants.”

Williams said a similar bill in early January did not advance past committee, but HB0426 did.

A recent call to make the University of Illinois system campuses of sanctuary was denied by President Timothy Killeen due to the administrators’ fear of losing federal funding over open defiance against federal immigration laws.

Jan Dennis, an assistant director in the Office of University Relations, said that the University’s legal staff is currently reviewing the bill on how the University system might specifically be affected by the proposed legislation.

“The U of I System and its three universities continue to advocate for undocumented students,” Dennis said.

Williams said that the bill will impact Illinois campuses directly by denying law enforcement agencies unwarranted investigation or detaining of individuals for immigration violations.

“The bill also prohibits school officials from asking about a student’s immigration status or the status of their family members,” Williams said.

A new website was launched by the University detailing information and resources, such as scholarships and ally training, for undocumented and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals students.

The bill comes in light of President Donald Trump’s executive order allowing law enforcement to apprehend and detain immigrants in the country. Trump has also threatened to cut federal funding to “sanctuary cities,” including Urbana.

“America is built on a foundation of welcoming immigrants and refugees,” Williams said. “Everyone deserves to be treated with dignity — that is what America is all about.”

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