Thursday, April 6, 2017

How good will Trust Act make Ill. look; while offending ideologues?

Is Illinois about to become the statewide equivalent of a “sanctuary city,” only without the sanctuary label attached?

Literally, no. But I can already hear the outraged wacky nonsense being spewed by the conservative ideologues who get particularly bent out of shape by anything related to immigration policy that doesn’t focus exclusively on increased deportations.

FOR THE ILLINOIS General Assembly is considering a bill this spring session called the Illinois Trust Act. Based on acts that already have been passed in a few other states, particularly California, it would prevent the state’s law enforcement agencies (primarily the Illinois State Police) from assisting federal immigration officials in arresting anyone unless a criminal warrant is produced.

Also, it includes provisions restricting immigration officials from going into schools or hospitals in search of people who may have overstayed their visa (or never had one to begin with).

Considering that some school districts, including the Chicago Public Schools, already are telling their officials to keep immigration agents off their campuses, this law would merely give the legitimacy of the state to the actions they’re already taking.

If anything, it means Illinois is taking sides in the political battle over immigration reform – and we’re certainly not on the side of a certain orange-tinted man with wild hair who likes to get his ideologue followers all riled up by ranting about all those “foreigners” who are to blame for everything wrong with their own lives.

PERSONALLY, I THINK this bill would change little if it were to become law.

It reinforces the basic concept of sanctuary cities that says federal immigration agents should do their own investigatory work and shouldn’t expect any instances of immigration law violators to be dumped into their laps by local cops.

It doesn’t restrict the ability of immigration to go out and find people violating the law. Even though the ideologue critics will want to lambast it as somehow providing a place where people can hide.
They'd have to do their own work

Actually, all it is meant is to provide a place where people can feel safe from the harassment of those who’d want to use the local cops to pick on people whom they want to believe “don’t belong” here.

EVEN THOUGH I often wonder if we all had to go through the rigors that foreign residents do to adapt to this country, how many of us would be worthy of that U.S. citizenship they obtained through the accident of birth.

At a time when Trump and his attorney general are trying to single out Chicago and other sanctuary cities, a measure such as this would add legitimacy to the actions of the communities that have decided to make themselves symbolic places of safety.

I also don’t doubt there will be some local politicking played, as one of the bill’s sponsors is Daniel Biss, the state senator from Evanston who is among the people with Democratic dreams of running for governor come next year’s elections.

If this bill does become law, I have no doubt that Biss will become the proud author who will take single-handed credit for its passage.

THE REAL QUESTION could be will anyone try to use it against him? Because using it gets one into political bed with the same “basket of deplorables” that will want to view this act as particularly venal because it legitimizes everything they rant against.
BISS: How much praise will he cover himself in?

Considering that Gov. Bruce Rauner is going out of his way to distance himself from Trump and many of the social issue causes they often spew (Rauner hates organized labor, but isn’t hostile on many other points), I can’t see him wanting to touch this issue with a 30-foot pole.

Thirty feet also being the height of that wall Trump claims he wants to have erected along the U.S./Mexico border.

The one that not only will Mexico refuse to pay for, but that a Mexican entrepreneur will probably use as motivation for his own invention – a 31-foot-high ladder suitable for scaling.


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