Illinois Sheriffs Sue To Stop Sanctuary State Law

AP Photo/David Banks

In 2017 Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner made the state a sanctuary for illegal immigrants by signing into law the Illinois Trust Act which prevents local law enforcement from cooperating with federal immigration enforcement and stops them from honoring Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainer request for criminal illegal aliens in their custody.

In recent weeks the Illinois Sheriffs Association and Republican lawmakers have brought attention to a change in policy with the Illinois Department of Corrections that is allowing illegal alien felons to leave state prisons instead of them being held until they can be taken into custody by federal authorities.

Federal law stipulates that such convicted felons are to be held until the conclusion of their sentences and then transferred into federal custody so that the illegal alien criminal can be processed and ajudicated for removal from the country.

The fact that the state of Illinois is willfully flaunting federal law is dangerous to the residents of the state.

Now four Illinois Sheriffs, McHenry County Sheriff Bill Prim, Ogle County Sheriff Brian Vanvickle, Stephenson County Sheriff David Snyders and Kankakee County Sheriff Mike Downey have filed a lawsuit against the state claiming that the Illinois Trust Act is unconstitutional.  The Sheriffs argue that the federal government has supremacy over immigration matters and want an injunction against Illinois’ sanctuary state law.

As the State Journal-Register reports:

“This language(Federal Law) requires Illinois law enforcement officers to comply with an immigration detainer they receive from those federal officers tasked with carrying out national immigration policy,” the lawsuit states. “Immigration detainers notify law enforcement officials that DHS (the Department of Homeland Security) has found probable cause that the person subject to the request is a removable alien.”

The Illinois Trust Act interferes with the ability of law enforcement to respond to the detainers, the lawsuit states, and puts sheriffs at risk of lawsuits if they comply with the detainers. Federal law takes precedent over state law, the suit states

Ogle County Sheriff Brian Vanvickle and Stephenson County Sheriff David Snyders are currently being sued by the Illinois ACLU for having honored ICE detainer requests against 3 individuals.

The spokesperson for Illinois’ Democrat Governor J.B Pritzker told the Chicago Tribune “The governor has made it abundantly clear that Illinois will be a firewall against the president’s attacks on immigrant communities,”

In a statement Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul said of the Sheriffs lawsuit, “The TRUST Act reflects the values of Illinois residents and serves to build relationships between law enforcement agencies and immigrant communities instead of spreading fear based on immigration status. The Attorney General’s office maintains that the TRUST Act is constitutional.”

The Trump administration has made combating the scourge of sanctuary states and cities a key part of its efforts to curb illegal immigration.  So far the administration has gone after Justice Department grant funding to these jurisdictions. It would also be prudent of the Trump administration and the Justice Department and Attorney General Bill Baar to back and/or join with Sheriffs Vanvickle, Snyders, Prim, and Downey’s lawsuit against the Illinois Trust Act and get such sanctuary state laws invalidated.