Violent crime victims group hails denial of 'sanctuary' status for Illinois
A last-minute push by the House that eliminated elements of the proposed “TRUST Act” that would have transformed Illinois into a sanctuary state came just in time, Denise Rotheimer, founder of the Ingleside-based Mothers on a Mission to Stop Violence, told the Lake County Gazette recently.
As originally drafted, Senate Bill 31 would have prohibited federal authorities from “stopping, questioning or detaining” any immigrant unless the officers were armed with a valid federal warrant. It also would have prevented local police from cooperating with federal officials who did not have a federal warrant to enter so-called “safe zones,” which include places like public schools and publicly funded clinics.
But after a long and heated debate in the House, the measure that was sent to Gov. Bruce Rauner was stripped of the provisions disallowing local police to speak with federal agents and the clause mandating police to complete paperwork validating that an immigrant helped with a criminal investigation.
“Our greatest fear was the thought of releasing violent offenders back into the community instead of letting ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) deal with them,” Rotheimer said.
Rotheimer founded Mothers on a Mission to Stop Violence in 2008 after her then-11-year-old daughter was violently attacked and raped. She says she can’t begin to fathom why lawmakers wouldn’t be doing everything they can to keep the community safe.
“All the egregious language in this bill would have made us totally reactive to whatever happens to us as opposed to doing what we can to prevent it in the first place,” she said.
Rotheimer joined the Illinois State Police, Fraternal Order of Police, Illinois Sheriffs' Association and Illinois Department of Corrections in opposing the bill in its original form.
She also asked whether Democrats like Rep. Sam Yingling (D-Grayslake) truly had the community's best interests at heart in supporting the measure.
“It’s just not a crisis we need to be focused on,” she said. “The state has $14 billion of unpaid debts. We need to be concentrating on the budget and issues like funding mental health instead of wasting time and money on matters not relevant to the pressing issues of the people.”
Throughout the proceedings, Democrats argued that the proposed legislation was aimed at fostering greater trust between immigrant communities and police. Proponents also said that it’s not a crime to be an illegal immigrant, pointing out that many hold jobs and pay taxes.
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Ingleside, IL, United States
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