Illinois (ECWd) –
As if the State of Illinois does not have enough problems, it appears our Attorney General Kwame Raoul wanted to make sure our Illinois Law Enforcement is reminded of a law signed by former Governor Rauner known as the Illinois Trust Act and the Keep Illinois Families Together Act signed by Governor Pritzker.
Raoul updated the Guidance to Law Enforcement on July 12th, 2019, which coincides with the Federal Governments efforts to deport illegal aliens that have been adjudicated by a court and found in violation of our laws and ordered deported.
It would appear, the General Assembly may have gotten out in front of the skis during the last session with the “Keep Illinois Families Together Act“.
Of interest in the new law and the updated Guidelines from the Attorney General is what appears to be either ignorance to our laws or hoping no one catches what appears to be a significant loophole law enforcement still has. If action is taken to close the loophole then we will know the answer to our question.
The new law states:
(b)On or after the effective date of this Act, no law enforcement agency or official may enter into or remain in an agreement with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement under a federal 287(g) program.
Raoul’s Guideline update states:
f. Local law enforcement may not enter into immigration enforcement agreements with federal immigration authorities.
While the new law outlines the specific type of Federal Agreement law enforcement is forbidden to participate in, note that there is no language to prohibit powers already possessed under Illinois Law, which still allows agreements with every other Federal Agency on the books.
(1) The term “public agency” shall mean any unit of local government as defined in the Illinois Constitution of 1970, any school district, any public community college district, any public building commission, the State of Illinois, any agency of the State government or of the United States, or of any other State, any political subdivision of another State, and any combination of the above pursuant to an intergovernmental agreement which includes provisions for a governing body of the agency created by the agreement.
(5 ILCS 220/3) (from Ch. 127, par. 743)
Sec. 3. Intergovernmental cooperation. Any power or powers, privileges, functions, or authority exercised or which may be exercised by a public agency of this State may be exercised, combined, transferred, and enjoyed jointly with any other public agency of this State and jointly with any public agency of any other state or of the United States to the extent that laws of such other state or of the United States do not prohibit joint exercise or enjoyment and except where specifically and expressly prohibited by law. This includes, but is not limited to, (i) arrangements between the Illinois Student Assistance Commission and agencies in other states which issue professional licenses and (ii) agreements between the Department of Healthcare and Family Services (formerly Illinois Department of Public Aid) and public agencies for the establishment and enforcement of child support orders and for the exchange of information that may be necessary for the enforcement of those child support orders.
(Source: P.A. 95-331, eff. 8-21-07.)
As it stands, any unit of local government can enter into agreements with ANY agency of the United States, with the exception being the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency because the new law forbids such agreements specifically, however, no such exclusion has been included in the Intergovernmental Agreement Act.
So what would stop a local Police Department from entering into an agreement with the US Attorney or the FBI by offering their local assistance to those agencies who can enforce federal law, to include immigration matters?
For those that may be confused, the loophole is rather simple.
Since Federal Immigration and Customs can’t enter into agreements with local law enforcement in Illinois, they could enter into an agreement with the FBI or other Federal law enforcement divisions for them to take on certain enforcement duties. Those agencies could then enter into agreements with local law enforcement through the Illinois Intergovernmental Agreement Act.
As long as the local law enforcement is not in an agreement with the specific Federal Immigration and Customs agency, they could enter into agreements with other Federal Agencies that were tasked with enforcement of Federal Court Orders, such as a deportation order.
While we are not attorneys, the few I shared this with prior to publication agreed that since the law only forbids an agreement with that one agency, they are still able to enter them with any other agency that may be tasked with enforcement of immigration laws.
We suspect we will see an amendment to legislation to address the powers local public agencies have with our Intergovernmental agreements and their application to agencies of the United States.