NW Illinois News

NW Illinois News

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Sheriffs sue Illinois attorney general over TRUST Act

Local Government

By Bob Pepalis | Mar 17, 2020

Kwame Raoul, running for state Attorney General

Four Illinois sheriffs are suing Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul, claiming the state law banning them from detaining people in the country without legal permission is unconstitutional.

Ogle County Sheriff Brian VanVickle, Stephenson County Sheriff David Snyders, McHenry County Sheriff Bill Prim and Kankakee County Sheriff Mike Downey filed a lawsuit on March 9 in U.S. District Court for Northern Illinois. The suit claims the 2017 TRUST Act is unconstitutional because the federal government has sole authority over immigration, WREX said

The state’s TRUST Act bans local law enforcement officers from detaining a person unless they received a signed judicial warrant. Administrative holds issued by federal immigration authorities don’t meet this requirement.

Most conflicts between the state and federal law come from the detention of those in the country illegally without an order signed by a judge, the lawsuit says.

“The TRUST Act is in direct conflict with federal laws requiring cooperation between federal and state law enforcement officials,” according to the complaint.

The ACLU of Illinois sued VanVickle and Snyders in November 2019 in separate lawsuits, alleging their departments violated the TRUST Act. The suits claim they detained men for federal immigration officials after minor traffic stops even after the men posted bond.

Prim previously has been subject to litigation under the TRUST Act, the complaint said.

Federal law requires local law enforcement to detain people in the country illegally for up to 48 hours. That gives federal officials can determine their immigration status. The state law only allows this with a signed judicial order and not the more common administrative hold.

The sheriffs’ suit says the U.S. Constitution and congressional statutes trump the TRUST Act, making it unenforceable.

"Based on its enumerated powers and its constitutional power as a sovereign to control and conduct relations with foreign nations, the federal government alone has the authority to establish immigration laws, the execution of which the states cannot obstruct,” the sheriff’s suit in federal court said.

State elected officials disagree.

“The police in Illinois do not work for ICE. People should not be detained because of how they look, what they believe or what paperwork they may or may not have,” Senate President John Cullerton said in November through an ACLU of Illinois press release.

The sheriffs want the court to issue preliminary and permanent injunctions against requiring them to enforce the TRUST Act. They also ask for a declaratory judgment that federal law preempts the state law.

U.S. District Court for Northern Illinois, Western Division case number 20 CV 50094

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Ogle County Security (Sheriff and Coroner and Safety) CommitteeIllinois Attorney General Ofc

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