Attorney General Says Police In Illinois Can't Arrest Just For Immigration Status

Sep 14, 2017

Police in Illinois have limited power when it comes to matters of immigration. Attorney General Lisa Madigan issued legal guidance Wednesday to remind officers of what's permissible.  

Illinois law prohibits an arrest based only on someone’s immigration status. Madigan said this is important because, nationwide, police say they're getting fewer reports of crime from immigrants. She noted they are a group "who may be concerned that, if they come forward to report, that either themselves or their family members may be in jeopardy of deportation."

The guidance also examines a January executive order by President Donald Trump expanding the range of people targeted for deportation. But Madigan said the only reason Illinois police can hold someone for an immigration violation is if they have a warrant from a judge or probable cause to think the person has committed a crime.