Illinois GOP Governor: Sanctuary Bill ‘Very Reasonable’

Sanctuary City Advocates AP

Bruce Rauner, Republican Governor of Illinois, told the local press Friday he may sign a new bill passed by the heavily Democratic Illinois legislature to frustrate federal immigration enforcement.

Claiming it was supported by “the immigration community” in addition to the Illinois Sheriff’s Association and businesses, Rauner told WBEZ, Chicago’s FM public radio channel, that SB31 “seems very reasonable.” Rauner’s office did not respond to Breitbart News’s request to clarify to whom “the immigration community” referred.

The patriotic immigration reform group Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) strongly criticized SB31 in an interview with conservative site Illinois Review. Meanwhile, the Chicago chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and open-borders groups like the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, have urged Rauner to sign the bill.

SB31 does not concern the handling of immigrants or refugees, but illegal aliens, who are neither. Harmlessly titled the “Illinois Trust Act,” SB31 prohibits all Illinois state and local law enforcement from complying with federal agents’ “immigration detainer” orders. In effect, it will be illegal under the act for police in Illinois keep someone who federal agents tell them is an illegal alien in custody long enough for them to arrive and enforce immigration laws. Instead, they will be compelled to release illegal aliens back onto the street when they have no non-immigration-related reason to keep them locked up.

The bill is similar to provisions in effect in the so-called “sanctuary state” of California.

“It does not tie law enforcement’s hands. It actually encourages between local law enforcement and federal immigration facilities,” Rauner said, indicating he would make up his mind on whether to sign it in the next few days. Rauner’s office confirmed to Breitbart News Monday that the governor has yet to reach a final decision on SB31.

One Illinois immigration hawk was unconvinced. “I think the biggest question Illinois taxpayers have for Governor Rauner and any legislator who would want to pass this bill is, ‘Does making it easier for illegal aliens to stay in Illinois improve the lives of Illinois residents?'” former Republican candidate for the U.S. Congress and Illinois Minutemen-founder Rosanna Pulido told Breitbart News.

She explained:

We already spend 4.5 Billion dollars a year for free services for illegal aliens. By signing this Bill, SB 31, Rauner will create an even stronger magnet for illegal aliens who are looking not to be apprehended by the law. Thus, the already overburdened taxpayer will be saddled with even more of a burden. It will truly be the straw that broke the camels back. Personally I am already checking out a different state I can move to.  It is a truly sad day in Illinois.

Brian McCann, whose brother Dennis was killed by an illegal alien who escaped to his native Mexico because of Chicago’s existing “sanctuary” policies, joined other families to opposing SB31. “All the killers were illegal aliens,” McCann told the Illinois Review. “The three of us have made repeated requests to meet with the governor to urge him to veto this dangerous measure. We will meet with the governor downstate or upstate before the August 28th deadline for a veto.”

At the launch of Advocates for Victims of Illegal Alien Crime (AVIAC) in June, McCann expressed his frustration with the mainstream media’s constant focus on sympathetic stories about illegal immigrants and not on Americans who are harmed by so-called sanctuary policies. “We get no support … We don’t get coverage,” he told Breitbart News then.

If Rauner hoped to curry favor from his state’s rampant political left by signaling support for SB31, he did not find that support forthcoming. “Rauner is a guy who is trying to wreck the lives of working class families,” a spokesman for long-time Illinois Speaker of the House Michael Madigan told WBEZ in response to Rauner’s comments on the sanctuary bill. “I can’t say it any more simply.”

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