Immigration effort passes House despite criticism from Andersson, Skillicorn
A bill to prohibit local law enforcement agencies from enforcing what many Democrats call unfair federal civil immigration laws passed the House on Monday despite major concerns from Republicans such as Reps. Steven Andersson (R-Geneva) and Allen Skillicorn (R-East Dundee).
Andersson argued that the bill undermines federal law.
“I understand what this sponsor is trying to do,” he saiid.“I honestly think a lot of it won’t work … I’m a little concerned that what we are doing here is we are painting with a broad brush. We’re trying to deal with what is effectively a federal issue that our federal legislators and the executive branch in the federal government are [working on]. Instead of leaving it to them, we’re trying to deal with it here at this level.”
SB31, presented by Rep. Emanuel Welch (D-Hillsdale), creates the Illinois TRUST Act and would prohibit state and local law enforcement agencies from detaining a person solely because of an immigration detainer or a non-judicial warrant. Federal authorities would need a criminal warrant before arresting undocumented immigrants.
Andersson lauded Welch's goals in immigration reform but said t was not for the Illinois House to decide. Skillicorn called the legislation a slippery slope.
“I think a lot of this argument we’re talking about is what can and we cannot opt out of in federal law," Skillicorn said. That is a concern of mine. I remember there was a survey last week stating that taxes are too high, and I wonder if Illinois can be more empathetic to tax refugees, not just immigration refugees. I wonder, what other federal laws can we possibly can opt out of?”
He ridiculed the legislation, saying the state might as well create a haven to accept tax refugees.
“I seriously wonder, could Illinois adopt something like this and then become a tax haven, and we can welcome tax refugees from all over the world,” Skillicorn said. “We hear comments like, ‘These refugees are undocumented.’ Well, we can consider the same thing when the IRS audits residents. In theory, we can say that the IRS cannot arrest Illinois residents. We can say that the IRS cannot seize assets of Illinois residents. Think of the economic possibilities if we created a tax haven here in Illinois.”
Skillicorn concluded that if his colleagues agreed that the scenario was ridiculous, they should reject the measure, but it passed on a 62-49 vote.
Organizations in this Story
127 S. 1st Street
Geneva, IL 60137