Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a bill into law on Monday that will prohibit jails in Illinois from housing ICE detainees and severely limit local law enforcement from working with federal immigration agents.
Senate Bill 667 — also called the “Illinois Way Forward Act” — was passed 36-19 in late May.
On Monday, Pritzker signed SB 667 into law at East Aurora High School. He also signed HB 121, SB 1596 and SB 2665 into law.
The governor’s office said the package of legislation expands “protections for immigrant and refugee communities and further [establishes] Illinois as the most welcoming state in the nation.”
“Throughout my governorship I’ve directed my administration to adopt policies that make Illinois a welcoming state for immigrants, and I’m proud to sign these accountability measures into law to advance our cause,” Pritzker said.
“Every family, every child, every human being deserves to feel safe and secure in the place they call home. I am committed to making sure that value defines what it means to live in Illinois,” he added.
SB 667 says that no law enforcement agency and state or local government may enter into or renew any contract to hold or detain someone for federal immigration violations.
The law will require all law enforcement agencies and governments in the state to terminate their agreement to house ICE detainees by January 1, 2022.
McHenry, Kankakee and Pulaski counties currently have contracts with ICE to house immigrants at their county jails. McHenry County is paid $95 per day per ICE detainee, officials have said.
The law also says that law enforcement agencies cannot provide information to federal immigration agents or transfer any person into their custody.
Law enforcement would also not be able to ask anyone their immigration status.
On May 18, the McHenry County Board voted to keep the county jail’s contract with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement following protests from people who wanted the county to end their contract.
In a 15-8 vote, the board voted against the resolution to cancel the contract by November 1. The vote came following more than a year of discussion regarding the issue.
Now that Pritzker signed SB 667 into law, that May vote to keep the ICE contract in McHenry County will be null unless there are any legal challenges to the law.
McHenry County has maintained a contract since 2005 with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to house a number of federal detainees, the majority of which were for immigration issues.
Revenue from the contract is used to offset costs in the McHenry County Jail, the county has said in the past.
In 2015, the county board approved a modified contract that continued the relationship but on a month-to-month basis.
McHenry County Board Chairman Michael Buehler, R-Crystal Lake, said earlier in May that he supported the board’s decision to keep the contract in place.