The release of the executive order on Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements in January has prompted hundreds of thousands of Illinois residents to withdraw from participation in civic life.
Under this order, any interaction with police—including the most minor traffic violation—can trigger deportation for an individual without citizenship, even if they are in the process of receiving legal resident status.
But on August 28, Governor Bruce Rauner signed a measure to restrict local law enforcement from collaborating with federal immigration enforcement agents to detain anyone without a judicial warrant.
Senate Bill 31, known as the Illinois TRUST Act, will provide an unprecedented level of protection for half a million undocumented residents who would otherwise be at risk of entering the deportation pipeline.
The bill was brought into law with bipartisan support, through an effort led by local nonprofit organizations: Latino Policy Forum, Illinois Business Immigration Coalition, the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights and PASO – West Suburban Action Project.
The TRUST Act provides an unprecedented level of protection for half a million undocumented IL residents who would otherwise be at risk of entering the deportation pipeline.
The Chicago Community Trust is proud to support these three organizations as part of its GO Grant initiative, which provides general operating support to outstanding nonprofits whose work helps achieve systemic change essential to building safe, thriving communities.
The GO Grant portfolio known as Improving Immigrant Services and Immigration Policies provides funding to achieve three goals:
- Improved efficiency, quality and capacity of legal and other services for immigrants
- Policy solutions that engage diverse stakeholders and protect immigrant rights
- Collaborative programs that increase educational and workforce training opportunities for immigrants
Our grant partners are working with the media to ensure that accurate information is disseminated, and that no one falls prey to predatory practices that take advantage of immigrants. They are working with federally qualified health centers to offer mental health services, and with attorneys who can help with legal guardianship documentation, protecting children in the event that their parents are detained and deported.
In addition to investing in these organizations’ continuing work through GO Grants, the Trust also provided grant support in May to the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights’ Protecting Immigrant Families Initiative. This project aims to advance policies that enable immigrant families to live safe and productive lives: sending children to school, seeking medical help, and working cooperatively with local police.
Our grant partners are working with the media to ensure that accurate information is disseminated, and that no one falls prey to predatory practices that take advantage of immigrants. They are working to offer mental health services, and legal guardianship documentation—protecting children in the event that their parents are detained and deported.
Achieving these goals requires trust between immigrant communities and institutions that can only be achieved if the institutions limit their interactions with immigration enforcement. To this end, the Initiative advocated for three bills before the Illinois General Assembly which would provide these increased protections—including the TRUST Act, which has now passed into law.
A safe and vibrant community requires the full participation of all residents, without discrimination or fear. As the needs of our region’s immigrant and refugee families evolve, the Trust is honored to provide our grant partners with the resources to respond.