The Keep Illinois Families Together Act

By Daniel Nardini

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - CommentaryIn reaction to U.S. President Donald Trump’s angry rhetoric of threatening to arrest, imprison and deport immigrants, some states are answering with measures to protect those immigrants—whether they be legal or undocumented—from arbitrary arrest and wholesale violation of their judicial rights. The Illinois State Assembly is considering one such measure. Known as the Keep Illinois Families Together Act, its chief aim is to protect families from being torn apart by U.S. immigration and ending all cooperation in the case of this practice of family separation. Further, this Act will end the practice of Illinois counties informing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) of any undocumented in Illinois jails in an effort to prevent deportation proceedings. Such an Act would end any and all partnerships in Illinois with ICE for Illinois county enforcement to single out individuals in jail due to their immigration status.

Personally, I am not too thrilled with this piece of legislation. The trade-off here is that felons might be set free in order to protect those who have families whose members may be undocumented. But with a president who seems to be getting unhinged, it seems that going the opposite direction may be the only way to balance out the whole justice system. I have heard that the Trump administration is doing what it is doing to those who have “failed” to appear in court and have received many notices of deportation. However, there are cases where those affected have received no notification, no trials, and have been locked up and deported without any hearings at all. Even legal immigrant residents, legal permanent residents, and U.S. citizens have been caught up in the president’s hysterical immigrant sweeps, so I seem to be far from being the only one who has been unnerved by what is happening. When the innocent have been victimized to punish the guilty, this is when I say enough is enough. President Trump seems to like saying that we have laws against people coming to this country illegally. Well, we also have a court system where people should have certain legal rights and protections that he seems to want to ignore. In my view, the Keep Illinois Families Together Act is an attempt to restore this judicial balance.

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