New Laws Will Protect Undocumented Immigrant Youth

Jul 24, 2019

The governor signed the measures in Chicago flanked by advocates who say the state must be a welcoming place for all.

One of them allows more time for a short term guardian to have custody if parents are held or deported by the federal government. Another would give young immigrants access to a special visa if they are victims of abuse or neglect.

“We have an obligation to protect children regardless of their immigration status,” said state Sen. Cristina Castro, a Democrat from Elgin.

State Rep. Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz, a Glenview Democrat, said it’s a response to the Trump Administration’s immigration policies.

“This is about giving families peace of mind. And while it may not stop the deportation and detention of every parent, it’s certainly a better option for children than a mylar blanket on a concrete floor,” she said.

Governor J.B. Pritzker says Illinois will continue to be a firewall against President Trump’s immigration policies that have people living in fear.

Earlier this year, Pritzker signed off on laws banning private immigrant detention facilities in Illinois, and prohibiting state and local police from assisting federal immigration agents in removing undocumented people.