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McHenry County sheriff files lawsuit against state over immigration law

Four Illinois sheriffs issue a statement about a lawsuit they filed against the state’s Trust Act | Photo provided by the Ogle County Sheriff’s Office.

McHenry County Sheriff Bill Prim and three other Illinois sheriffs filed a federal lawsuit to block the Illinois Trust Act, which says they are not allowed to detain someone based on immigration status.

Prim, along with Ogle County Sheriff Brian VanVickle, Stephenson County Sheriff David Snyders and Kankakee County Sheriff Mike Downey, filed the joint lawsuit on Monday in the U.S. District Court for Northern Illinois.

The lawsuit seeks a preliminary and eventually permanent injunction against the Illinois Trust Act. The 2017 state statute restricts law enforcement officers from being able to coordinate with federal officials regarding the custody of illegal immigrants.

The lawsuit also seeks a judgment that the U.S. Constitution and Congressional statutes supersede the Trust Act.

The suit names Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul as the defendant.

“The TRUST Act reflects the values of Illinois residents and serves to build relationships between law enforcement agencies and immigrant communities instead of spreading fear based on immigration status,” Raoul said in a statement.

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The sheriffs claim that the Trust Act has exposed them and their offices to litigation over the years as three of the four have been sued for alleged violations of the Act.

“The Trust Act is in direct conflict with federal laws requiring cooperation between federal and state law enforcement officials,” the suit says.

“The Trust Act puts Illinois law enforcement officers in an impossible position by forcing them to choose between obeying federal immigration detainers or complying with the state statute,” the suit also states.

The sheriffs say the issue between the Trust Act and federal law is in regards to the use of detainers, which require local law enforcement officers to hold someone who may be in the country illegally for up to 48 hours while federal authorities confirm their immigration status.

Read the full 12-page complaint here.


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