On Monday of this week, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed four bills into law and issued an executive order, all of which focus on improving the circumstances of immigrants throughout the state. These new developments may improve opportunities and quality of life for immigrants in Illinois, and, perhaps most notably, protect them from detention in removal and deportation cases. As a non-citizen or a family member of a non-citizen, these changes may have a positive impact on your situation in the near future.
Of the four bills signed by Governor Pritzker, the measure that may provide the greatest relief for immigrants is Senate Bill 667, the Illinois Way Forward Act. This bill prohibits new or renewed contracts between the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) and local Illinois governments that would allow immigrants to be detained in public jails while they wait for their removal hearings. The bill also terminates any active contracts as of January 2022, providing relief for immigrants currently detained under contracts of this nature in McHenry County, Kankakee County, and Pulaski County.
In addition to the ban on ICE contracts, the bill also restricts the ways in which local law enforcement organizations may cooperate with ICE. Furthermore, it prohibits Illinois law enforcement officers from asking criminal detainees about their immigration status or discriminating in the treatment of detainees based on their immigration status.
The rest of Governor Pritzker’s actions on Monday initiate the following measures to support Illinois immigrants:
Adding immigration and citizenship status as protected categories in Illinois’s hate crime laws, providing more clearly defined grounds to prosecute offenders whose actions are wholly or partially motivated by hate toward non-citizens
Prohibiting employers from discriminating against current and potential employees on the basis of their work authorization status
Establishing the Immigration Impact Task Force to create and present a report to the Illinois General Assembly by May 2022
Creating a Welcoming Illinois Office aimed at making the state more hospitable and equitable for immigrants
These new laws and executive actions are cause for optimism among the Illinois immigrant community, but there are still many situations in which immigrants may need legal help. At Mevorah & Giglio Law Offices, we serve immigrants who are applying for visas, adjustment of status, and citizenship, and we represent immigrants who are at risk of removal. To learn more about our services, contact our Illinois immigration attorneys today at 630-932-9100 and request a free consultation.
Whether you are going through a divorce, injured in an accident, need to file a workers' compensation claim, charged with a crime, immigrating to the United States, or need to file for bankruptcy, Mevorah & Giglio Law Offices can help. Our trial lawyers have over 40 years of experience helping clients throughout Northern Illinois from five offices in Lombard, Bloomindale, Naperville, St. Charles, and Chicago.
Steven Mevorah has assembled experienced attorneys under one roof so that his clients need not search for a new attorney each time they need help. Mr. Mevorah has also established a wide network of additional attorneys so that his clients merely need to stop by Mevorah & Giglio Law Offices to find the attorney they need.
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