aquino 080221AURORA – The Illinois Way Forward Act, which prohibits law enforcement from cooperating with immigration authorities, was signed into law Monday. State Senator Omar Aquino (D-Chicago) championed the legislation in the Illinois Senate.

The initiative also limits law enforcement inquiries regarding someone’s immigration status and ends detention immigration centers contracts in Illinois.

“Today, we are providing certainty for immigrant communities across Illinois,” Aquino said. “This law ends the practice of hosting immigration centers in our state, because their very existence opposes who we are: one of the most welcoming states for immigrants in the nation. Also, immigrant families will no longer live in fear of being questioned about their immigration status by local law enforcement officers.”

Senate Bill 667 improves the relationship between immigrant communities and local law enforcement agencies, allowing new cooperation that enhances public safety. Local police departments will not get distracted doing the work of federal authorities, having the opportunity to focus their resources on protecting the communities they serve.

“This is a step forward for immigrants, providing an environment in which they can thrive,” Aquino said. “I thank Governor J.B. Pritzker, the Latino Caucus in the General Assembly, Speaker Chris Welch, and President Don Harmon for their hard work on this achievement. Now, it’s up to the US Congress to pass sensible immigration legislation that mirrors what we have done here in Illinois.”

The law takes effect immediately.