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Pritzker signs bills designed to protect the children of undocumented residents

Wednesday, Jul 24, 2019

* Sun-Times

Responding to President Donald Trump border policies he dubbed “wrong for America” and “wrong for Illinois,” Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Tuesday moved to strengthen Illinois’ immigration laws — signing bills designed to protect the children of undocumented residents.

The new laws would create a pathway for citizenship for undocumented children who have experienced trauma and extend legal guardianship for children whose parents have been detained.

They are the latest in a series of immigration bills the Democratic governor has signed, prompting Pritzker to vow “the state of Illinois stands as a firewall against Donald Trump’s attacks on our immigrant communities.”

Pritzker signed the measures the same day that protesters lined the Marriott Marquis Chicago in Chicago as the hotel hosted a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) conference.

It was also Day One of a new Trump Administration policy that will fast-track deportation regulations to include the removal of undocumented immigrants who can’t prove they have been in the country for two years or more.

* ABC 7

“In our state, parents will decide who will take care of their children if they are detained or deported, not ICE, customs or border patrol,” said State Rep. Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz D-Glenview.

The Gad Hill Center in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood provides services for immigrant families.

Months ago, it began collecting information from parents about their chosen guardian for their children in case families were separated.

“We have in our records the name, driver’s license and every identification necessary in order to make sure that the children have somebody safe to go to in case families are separated by deportation,” said the center’s CEO, Maricela Garcia.

* Public Radio

“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. […]

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.

* Center Square

“As long as Washington [D.C.] is dominated by a philosophy that threatens Illinois families, we can and we will give parents the dignity of knowing their children are in trusted hands,” Pritzker said.

HB 836 ensures a parent in the country illegally can entrust a guardian to make medical decisions and enroll a child in school, among other activities, the governor’s office said. The measure would also give the courts discretion to grant guardianship of a minor whose parent can’t be reached due to an administrative separation.

State Rep. Darren Bailey, R-Xenia, said Illinois can’t even manage its current caseload at the Department of Children and Family Services.

“We can’t even get our foster care situation under control and we’re going to sit here and pretend that we’re going to take care of these children until these things get straightened out with their parents,” Bailey said.

DCFS isn’t even mentioned in the new law. Neither is foster care.

…Adding… From comments…

Rep Bailey has it backwards. If the parents cannot name a guardian, the case defaults to DCFS.

* SJ-R

Pritzker also denied that Trump is helping his re-election chances by fomenting racial divisions.

“It’s not working for his re-election,” Pritzker said. “I have called him out as a xenophobe, as a racist. I believe that he is. He’s going to continue to do this. This. This is the world that we live in. We’re fighting hard to hold back the efforts of his government of his White House to foment this kind of racism around the nation.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

21 Comments
  1. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Jul 24, 19 @ 10:32 am:

    Good for Pritzker. It’s almost comical to watch right wingers scream about Christianity being taken out of government and society but oppose core requirements of that religion by cutting the poor and giving much to the rich, and demonizing many of the least of these—the brown-skinned undocumented immigrants fleeing from poverty and violence.


  2. - Steve - Wednesday, Jul 24, 19 @ 10:36 am:

    The Monetary Award Program (MAP) grants to undocumented students opens Illinois up to possible lawsuits from out of state students who aren’t Illinois residents in federal court via 14th Amendment. An undocumented Central American living in Illinois doesn’t have more rights than an Indiana resident going to college in Illinois.


  3. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Wednesday, Jul 24, 19 @ 10:41 am:

    I approve of this, as long as DCFS doesn’t plan to make them sleep on the floors of their admin offices


  4. - Steve - Wednesday, Jul 24, 19 @ 10:44 am:

    I hope the new Illinois law isn’t violating federal immigration law. 8 U.S.C. § 1623 - U.S. Code - Unannotated Title 8. Aliens and Nationality § 1623. Limitation on eligibility for preferential treatment of aliens not lawfully present on basis of residence for higher education benefits.

    https://codes.findlaw.com/us/title-8-aliens-and-nationality/8-usc-sect-1623.html


  5. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jul 24, 19 @ 10:47 am:

    ===An undocumented Central American living in Illinois doesn’t have more rights than an Indiana resident going to college in Illinois===

    You’re not a citizen of a state, you’re a resident. And Illinois residents have priority over Indiana residents.


  6. - Skokie Man - Wednesday, Jul 24, 19 @ 10:56 am:

    The new guardianship law does not involve DCFS in any way. A parent cannot appoint DCFS as the guardian of their child… only a judge can do that. This new law just uses common sense to ensure that parents detained for immigration/status issues have the autonomy to choose who takes on legal responsibility for their children. If Rep. Bailey wants police officers or ICE agents to have to blindly make those decisions, I guess that’s his prerogative.


  7. - Thomas Paine - Wednesday, Jul 24, 19 @ 11:04 am:

    @Skokie Man -

    Rep Bailey has it backwards. If the parents cannot name a guardian, the case defaults to DCFS.

    This bill ought to divert kids from DCFS (not many, but some)


  8. - Quibbler - Wednesday, Jul 24, 19 @ 12:11 pm:

    == The Monetary Award Program (MAP) grants to undocumented students opens Illinois up to possible lawsuits from out of state students who aren’t Illinois residents in federal court via 14th Amendment. ==

    Discrimination on the basis of state residency isn’t a suspect classification under the 14th amendment.

    == Are all Central Americans really legal residents of Illinois according to federal law? ==

    As the linked article admits, the courts have never accepted the argument set forth in the article (which was co-authored by a GOP vote suppression specialist whom a federal judge recently dismissed as non-credible).


  9. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Jul 24, 19 @ 12:16 pm:

    ==really legal residents of Illinois according to federal law ?==

    Illinois sets residency requirements for the state, not the federal government. You’re confusing citizenship with state residency. Two different things.


  10. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Jul 24, 19 @ 12:19 pm:

    ==“It’s not working for his re-election,”==

    Maybe. Maybe not. For whatever reason the people that support him love the way he acts. I don’t understand why. Apparently they believe it’s the way a President of the United States should act. I think it’s deplorable the way he acts.


  11. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Jul 24, 19 @ 12:25 pm:

    I disagree with Pritzker about Trump not helping himself with his white nationalist strategy. It helped him the first time and may help him again. The GOP base loves him, and he knows it and works it to perfection.

    “An undocumented Central American living in Illinois doesn’t have more rights than an Indiana resident going to college in Illinois.”

    The essence of xenophobia against undocumented immigrants and racism is that many in the privileged and powerful majority think they’re getting less than the weaker minority. It’s very dangerous in its extreme version.


  12. - @misterjayem - Wednesday, Jul 24, 19 @ 12:32 pm:

    “Are all Central Americans really legal residents of Illinois according to federal law ?”

    You’ll be relieved to learn that this bill doesn’t address the status of all Central Americans, only those persons residing in Illinois.

    – MrJM


  13. - Last Bull Moose - Wednesday, Jul 24, 19 @ 12:44 pm:

    I thought any parent could already set up guardianship for a minor child. It is a standard clause in wills.

    J.B. cannot establish a path to citizenship for anybody. That is federal.


  14. - Lucky Pierre - Wednesday, Jul 24, 19 @ 1:16 pm:

    Apparently they believe it’s the way a President of the United States should act. I think it’s deplorable the way he acts.

    But there were substantially more deportations under the Obama administration that JB and other partisan Democrats would never call xenophobic or racist.


  15. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jul 24, 19 @ 1:17 pm:

    ===But there were substantially more deportations under the Obama administration===

    Obama was president for 8 years.


  16. - R.A.T. - Wednesday, Jul 24, 19 @ 1:38 pm:

    == But there were substantially more deportations under the Obama administration ==

    Xenophobia was a strong Democrat trait for generations as they are big supporters of unions and they believed immigrants were taking union jobs. Trump has turned all this on its head.


  17. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Jul 24, 19 @ 1:50 pm:

    It’s not just deportations. It’s consistent demonization, which is what Trump does. How many times has he attacked Latin American undocumented people, and lately The Squad? What kind of language has he used? Trump means very clearly to rile up the GOP base. It’s dangerous for everybody. There are wack jobs of different political stripes.


  18. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Wednesday, Jul 24, 19 @ 1:52 pm:

    ==Xenophobia was a strong Democrat trait for generations as they are big supporters of unions and they believed immigrants were taking union jobs.==

    You can be an immigrant and also be a full fledged union member. I believe we call those people “brother”.


  19. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Jul 24, 19 @ 2:00 pm:

    LP

    I was referring to the way the President acts in general. But, as per usual, you come in with your standard victim argument.

    Go away.


  20. - Wpeac - Wednesday, Jul 24, 19 @ 2:59 pm:

    Ridiculous bill. Any good evangelical Republican these days know that brown children belong in cages, not in the care of a trusted guardian.


  21. - revvedup - Wednesday, Jul 24, 19 @ 4:47 pm:

    Rich, you can be a “citizen of Illinois”: 20 ILCS 1805/1) (from Ch. 129, par. 220.01)
    Sec. 1. All able-bodied citizens of this State and all other able-bodied residents in this State who have declared their intention to become citizens of the United States, between the ages of 18 and 45, except such as are expressly exempted by the laws of the United States and the State of Illinois, shall be subject to military duty and designated as the Illinois State Militia.
    (Source: Laws 1957, p. 2141.). And in the Illinois Constitution: SECTION 24. RIGHTS RETAINED
    The enumeration in this Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the individual citizens of the State. (Source: Illinois Constitution.)


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