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May 25, 2024

Illinois Attorney General updates “Guidance to Law Enforcement: Prohibitions Under Illinois Law on Engaging in Immigration Enforcement”

By Kirk Allen & John Kraft

On July 16, 2019

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.

Intergovernmental Agreements:

(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.

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1 Comment
  • Dave
    Posted at 13:34h, 16 July Reply

    I strongly oppose your above the law attempt of treating illegal aliens like they are above the law. No one is supposed to be above the law. You have no respect for those who came to America the lawful way and are going thru the naturalization process like a law-abiding immigrant should.

    Article one, Section nine – Limits on Congress
    “The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress PRIOR to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.”
    Pay attention now, this is important, in 1808, congress was granted the sole authority to enact immigration laws by the US Constitution, the Congress has enacted immigration laws which MUST BE RESPECTED AND HONORED BY THE STATES. The governor and the attorney general appear to be ignorant of that FACT. Despite what attorney general Raoul says concerning House Bill 1637 ( Keep Illinois Families Together Act) and HB 2040 (Private Detention Facility Moratorium Act) the state of Illinois has NO LAWFUL authority to make immigration law like HB 2040 & HB 1637. Per the US Constitution that authority belongs solely to congress. The Governor and AG Raoul incorrectly think THOSE LAWS, WHICH WERE ENACTED CONTRARY TO THE US CONSTITUTION ARE A FIREWALL, but they are null and void. As it is outside the scope of powers granted to the states. The Supremacy Clause is in the constitution to prevent state govt overreach by dictatorial governors and state legislators AS DOES THE 10TH AMENDMENT.
    “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
    The US Constitution, article one, section nine prohibits the states from enacting immigration laws, certainly a similar authority in the States would be absolutely & totally CONTRADICTORY and REPUGNANT. There has to be uniformity of immigration laws.
    It’s pitiful how the Governor and the state AG seem to have so little respect for the US Constitution they swore an oath to uphold.
    Congress made illegal aliens, unlawful. The governor needs to stop trying to deceive people by calling the people who should be deported, immigrants. They are not immigrants they are by definition, ILLEGAL ALIENS, THEY ARE LAW BREAKERS!
    Lawful, law abiding immigrants who respect our naturalization process are an essential part of what makes this country great, not illegal aliens who cross our laws. It really can’t be more clear; no statement encouraging respect for federal law enforcement was included in either the governor or the attorney general’s statements.
    Article VI, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution – The Supremacy Clause
    “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the Supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.”
    Governor Pritzker and the attorney general are NOT King, they may not do whatever they want. They may do what they want provided, it is consistent with the State Constitution; and except on those subjects prohibited to the states by the U.S. Constitution

    ARTICLE 1 SECTION 8 Clause 4 of the U.S. Constitution states;
    “the Congress shall have Power to establish an UNIFORM Rule of Naturalization throughout the United States.”
    Federalist Papers 32 [2] (Hamilton) Congress will “establish a uniform rule of naturalization throughout the United States.”
    He goes on to say; “Where it grants an authority to the federal government, to which a similar authority in the States would be absolutely & totally CONTRADICTORY and REPUGNANT; as in Art. I, Sec. 8, clause 4, which declares that Congress shall have power “to establish an UNIFORM RULE of naturalization throughout the United States.” This must necessarily be exclusive; because if each State had power to prescribe a DISTINCT RULE, there could not be a UNIFORM RULE.”
    Congress has the exclusive authority to make citizenship and Immigration law; the states DO NOT have the right to confer any citizen rights and or privileges to illegal aliens. The writers of the Federalist Papers are the EXPERTS on the meaning & intent of U.S. Constitution; Madison & Hamilton were VERY CLEAR on this issue. The states are NOT allowed to enact law that gives citizen rights & privileges to aliens. It is prohibited by Article 1 Section 8 Clause 4 and the Supremacy clause of the U.S. Constitution.

    Stop your unlawful aiding and abetting of law-breaking illegal aliens and immigrants. No one is supposed to be above the law; cooperate with federal law enforcement…. Illinois AG, It is your DUTY to do so.

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