State of Illinois Archives: on Immigration


J.B. Pritzker: Will not be complicit in shameful, draconian policies

We stood up for human rights and civil rights when we put Donald Trump on notice that Illinois will not be complicit in his shameful and draconian immigration policies. We opted in--to welcoming refugees to Illinois--continuing a proud tradition in this state that stretches back to my great grandparents, welcomed here a century ago after fleeing anti-Semitism in Europe.
Source: 2020 Illinois State of the State address Jan 29, 2020

Mark Curran: For border wall; but path to citizenship for DREAMers

I support a border wall as well as increased funding for both Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) and Border Patrol Agents. I support maintaining our sovereignty and stopping the flow of illegal immigration. I support legislation regarding both DACA, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, and Dreamers (Dream Act) Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors. These people did not choose to come here voluntarily. Their families brought them here. We would be less of a Nation if we deported them to a place they no longer know. I also support a path to citizenship for Dreamers.
Source: Chicago Sun Times on 2020 Illinois Senate race Jan 22, 2020

Tammy Baldwin: Supports immigrants in US and immigration reform

As the daughter of an immigrant and a Daughter of the American Revolution, Senator Duckworth is an advocate for comprehensive, fair, and just immigration reform because she believes that America is at its best when we embrace our nation's rich immigrant heritage. She understands that immigrants strengthen our economy and our communities by working hard every day to build a better life for themselves and their families and is working to advance immigration policies that reflect that reality.˙
Source: 2022 Illinois Senate campaign website baldwin.senate.gov Oct 16, 2019

Mark Curran: Supports Trump on funding for border/ICE agents, border wall

Curran said, "With regards to those here illegally--it's a mess, and has been for some time." He referred to measures that have not been able to get from the U.S. Congress to the President's desk, saying the issue is at a stalemate. "There's not enough funding for border agents, ICE agents, or the wall--and I support the President on those issues," he said. "I guarantee I know more about immigration than all of the other candidates."

[Curran's opponent] Dr. Tom Tarter responded by saying he's writing a white paper on the issue regarding the "DREAMers" who came to America with their parents illegally, saying he would not allow those DREAMers that had committed felonies to become citizens, but he would specifically allow those that have served in the military to become citizens

Source: Illinois Review on 2020 Illinois Senate debate Sep 22, 2019

Mark Curran: Backed bipartisan legislation with path for citizenship

Curran has been somewhat of an outlier on immigration issues in contrast to President Donald Trump and other Republicans. Curran has repeatedly called for comprehensive immigration reform and backed the 2013 bipartisan legislation that contained a path to citizenship for immigrants in the country illegally and overwhelmingly passed the Senate but was never called in the Republican-led House.
Source: Chicago Tribune on 2020 Illinois Senate race Aug 7, 2019

J.B. Pritzker: Protect immigrant families by ending cooperation with ICE

Legislative Summary: HB1637: The Attorney General shall propose new rules related to limiting assistance with immigration enforcement to the fullest extent possible consistent with federal and State law to ensure that facilities remain safe and accessible to all Illinois residents, regardless of immigration status.

Analysis by Lawndale News: Its chief aim is to protect families from being torn apart by U.S. immigration and ending all cooperation in the case of this practice of family separation. Further, this Act will end the practice of Illinois counties informing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) of any undocumented in Illinois jails in an effort to prevent deportation proceedings. Such an Act would end any and all partnerships in Illinois with ICE.

Legislative Outcome: House 67-50-1 on May/27/19; Passed Senate 35-19-5 on May/30/19; Signed by Governor J. B. Pritzker on Jun/21/19

Source: Capitol News Illinois on Illinois voting record HB1637 Jun 21, 2019

Anne Stava-Murray: Protect immigrant families by ending cooperation with ICE

Legislative Summary: HB1637: The Attorney General shall propose new rules related to limiting assistance with immigration enforcement to the fullest extent possible consistent with federal and State law to ensure that facilities remain safe and accessible to all Illinois residents, regardless of immigration status.

Analysis by Lawndale News: Its chief aim is to protect families from being torn apart by U.S. immigration and ending all cooperation in the case of this practice of family separation. Further, this Act will end the practice of Illinois counties informing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) of any undocumented in Illinois jails in an effort to prevent deportation proceedings. Such an Act would end any and all partnerships in Illinois with ICE.

Legislative Outcome: House 67-50-1 on May/27/19; Anne Stava-Murray co-sponsored the bill and voted YES; Passed Senate 35-19-5 on May/30/19; Signed by Gov. Pritzker on Jun/21/19

Source: Capitol News Illinois on Illinois voting record HB1637 May 27, 2019

J.B. Pritzker: Welcome refugees; end Muslim ban

JB Pritzker released the following statement on World Refugee Day:

"Who we are as Americans is being tested by how we treat the thousands of families fleeing for their lives, seeking refuge in the land of the free," said JB Pritzker. "But Bruce Rauner and Donald Trump have not only turned a blind eye, but actively refused refugees from entering our state and country. Whether it's Rauner rejecting Syrian refugees or Trump separating families and banning Muslims, these silent partners closing our doors to mothers, fathers, and children is a grave moral failing. We are a state and nation of immigrants, and we must welcome all with open arms. When I'm governor, I will fiercely fight against inhumanities like separating families at our border and denying refugees a new place to call home because the core values of this country depend on it."

Source: 2018 Illinois Gubernatorial website JBPritzker.com Jun 20, 2018

J.B. Pritzker: Aid for undocumented people

I will enhance funding for immigrant and refugee services, increase health care options for undocumented adults, improve the U-Visa certification process for victims of violent crimes, provide access to financial aid for undocumented students, oppose a federal registry program based on race, religion, and country of origin, and I will sign pro-immigrant laws like the Illinois Trust Act.
Source: 2018 Illinois Gubernatorial website JBPritzker com Sep 15, 2017

Chris Kennedy: Against mass deportation, for reform and DACA

To protect our undocumented residents here in Illinois, Chris would uphold the Trust Act and resist any effort by the federal government to pursue forceful and organized deportation. At the same time, he would use his leadership role as governor to convince the congressional delegation to support comprehensive immigration reform, and support the multi-state lawsuit to protect the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) that was established under President Obama.
Source: 2018 Illinois Gubernatorial website KennedyForIllinois.com Sep 1, 2017

Daniel Biss: Protect undocumented immigrants

Daniel backed the Trust Act, which creates safe havens for immigrants in state buildings and prevents Illinois law enforcement from assisting in federal immigration actions without a warrant.
Source: 2018 Illinois Gubernatorial website DanielBiss.com Sep 1, 2017

Bruce Rauner: State won't help or impede immigration enforcement

The version Rauner signed is only four pages long, and all of the language on arrests at public or publicly funded facilities has been deleted. It contains two directives for state and local police: Officers cannot detain people without a warrant from a judge and they can't 'stop, arrest, search, detain, or continue to detain a person solely based on an individual's citizenship or immigration status.
Source: BetterGov.org FactCheck on 2018 Illinois gubernatorial race Jul 17, 2017

Daniel Biss: Criticized governor for attempt to curb immigration

Biss last year ran a political action committee that sought to link Rauner to President Donald Trump. At his campaign announcement this year, Biss criticized Rauner for refusing to speak out against Trump's attempts to curb immigration, to ban abortion and to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
Source: Chicago Tribune on 2018 Illinois gubernatorial race Mar 20, 2017

Raja Krishnamoorthi: Supports DREAM Act and path to citizenship

As the son of legal immigrants to the U.S., Raja recognizes that our country is a nation of immigrants as well as a nation of laws. There is no question that our current system is broken and must be repaired. He will work in Congress for comprehensive immigration reform that protects our homeland, secures our borders, and offers a path to citizenship for undocumented workers who have staked roots in this country, lived peacefully without incident, and have agreed to pay penalties and fines, pay their taxes, learn English, and go to the back of the line.

Raja also supports the DREAM Act to provide a path to citizenship for the children of undocumented immigrants who have known no other home and meaningfully staked their roots in America.

Raja believes that foreign students who have earned a graduate degree in the U.S. and entrepreneurs who have secured enough investment to start a business here should be granted a temporary visa to pursue their dreams in our country.

Source: 2016 Illinois House campaign website RajaForCongress.com Nov 8, 2016

Mark Kirk: First secure the border; then path to citizenship

Q: On Immigration: Support the DREAM Act, which would allow children brought into the country illegally to achieve legal status if they meet certain conditions?

Duckworth: Yes

Kirk: Voted against it in 2010. Now supports it.

Q: On Immigration: Should America's 11 million undocumented residents have an earned path to citizenship?

Duckworth: Yes

Kirk: Only as part of a two-step reform: first secure the border and then create a path to citizenship.

Source: CampusElect Voter Guide to 2016 Illinois Senate race Oct 9, 2016

Sharon Hansen: Protect the borders; prevent illegal entry

Question topic: Government should enforce laws designed to protect the border and to prevent illegal entry of persons into the country.

Hansen: Strongly Agree. Our borders need to be secured and all illegals deported before any changes are made to the immigration system. This is our nation's biggest security threat.

Source: Faith2Action iVoterGuide on 2014 Illinois Senate race Sep 30, 2014

Doug Truax: First secure the border, then no comprehensive reform

On immigration, both Truax and Oberweis agree that there should be a path to citizenship for people brought to the U.S. illegally as children. But they oppose a Senate-passed bill, which Durbin helped craft, that would provide a path to citizenship for adults and children in the U.S. illegally while increasing the number of agents along the border.

Oberweis said he would propose a different approach: visas for immigrants here illegally, but no special path to citizenship. Those immigrants would pay taxes and have the freedom to cross in and out of the U.S. but would not be allowed to vote or participate in entitlement programs, Oberweis said.

Truax said Congress should focus first on securing the border. He said he would resist a comprehensive reform bill because Obama can't be trusted to implement complex legislation. "We've got to get down to specific pieces, and then if the president sticks to that, then we can move on to the second piece," Truax said

Source: Chicago Tribune on 2014 Illinois GOP Senate primary debate Feb 11, 2014

Jim Oberweis: Visas for illegal immigrants, but no path to citizenship

On immigration, both Truax and Oberweis agree that there should be a path to citizenship for people brought to the U.S. illegally as children. But they oppose a Senate-passed bill, which Durbin helped craft, that would provide a path to citizenship for adults and children in the U.S. illegally while increasing the number of agents along the border.

Oberweis said he would propose a different approach: visas for immigrants here illegally, but no special path to citizenship. Those immigrants would pay taxes and have the freedom to cross in and out of the U.S. but would not be allowed to vote or participate in entitlement programs, Oberweis said.

Truax said Congress should focus first on securing the border. He said he would resist a comprehensive reform bill because Obama can't be trusted to implement complex legislation. "We've got to get down to specific pieces, and then if the president sticks to that, then we can move on to the second piece," Truax said

Source: Chicago Tribune on 2014 Illinois GOP Senate primary debate Feb 11, 2014

Richard Durbin: Reform will increase coordination & reduce terrorism

Q: What are your questions about US intelligence agencies on the [Boston Marathon] bombing? Is there something that troubled you in particular?

DURBIN: Yes. I can tell you what troubles me. The current immigration system in America is broken down. We've got to change it. I've been sitting for more than three months with a bipartisan group of senators talking about making America safer. The immigration reform bill will make this a stronger nation, not just at the border with Mexico, and will strengthen that, but also that we need to track the visas coming into the United States, the visitor visas, the student visas, so that we know not only when they arrive but when they leave. That is not working today.

Q: Why isn't it working?

DURBIN: It's hard to believe 12 years after 9/11 we're having this conversation, but there is not enough coordination between these different agencies so that we know someone should not have been re-admitted to the US. Our bill addresses that directly.

Source: CNN SOTU 2013 interview on 2014 Illinois Senate race May 5, 2013

Richard Durbin: Extend partner immigration rights to gay couples

Q: There is a push by the gay community that once the partner is in the U.S. or is an American citizen, that that right for a partner to immigrate needs to be expanded to same-sex couples.

DURBIN: I believe that it's consistent with the position we should have marriage equality, and therefore, recognize marriages between people from the same gender. Now, this is a hot issue. It's a contentious issue. If we can find a way through this to protect that basic right of an individual and still pass immigration reform, that's what I want to achieve.

Q: What about DOMA?

DURBIN: The Supreme Court has taken up DOMA [overturning the Defense of Marriage Act, which would ensure equal immigration rights for gay couples]. And that decision on DOMA may preclude this whole conversation. They may help us reach the right place in this whole conversation.

Source: CNN SOTU 2013 interview on 2014 Illinois Senate race May 5, 2013

Richard Durbin: Immigration reform bill makes America safer

I'll return tomorrow [to Congress] for the 2nd hearing on the new immigration reform bill. Let me put it in context. There are four specific provisions in this immigration reform bill that will make America safer. We are going to have a stronger border with Mexico. We are going to have 11 million people come forward and have an opportunity to register with our government, out of the shadows. We're going to have verification of employment in the work place. And we're finally going to have a system where we can track visa holders who visit the United States to make sure that they leave when they're supposed to. So this is part of the ongoing conversation about a safer America and the immigration reform bill moves us closer.

The worst thing we can do is nothing. If we do nothing, leaving 11 million people in the shadows, not making our border safer, not having the information that comes from employment and these visa holders, we will be less safe in America. Immigration reform will make us safer.

Source: Meet the Press 2013 on 2014 Illinois Senate race Apr 21, 2013

Richard Durbin: Our border with Mexico is strongest it's been in 40 years

Q: Could you accept temporary legal status for illegals before the border has actually been secured?

Sen. CORNYN (R-TX): So much of [immigration reform] is regaining the public's confidence that the federal government is actually doing its job. So, until that confidence is restored on the basis of what the legislation provides, I would have difficulty supporting it.

Sen. DURBIN (D-IL): Our border with Mexico is the safest and strongest it's been in 40 years. We have invested billions of dollars into border enforcement. We're putting more money into border enforcement than we're putting into the FBI and the Secret Service and ATF and DEA combined. If we don't meet all the goals that we've set in years to come, we'll put more in more investment there.

Q: Is the 90% border apprehension rate a goal or a trigger?

DURBIN: Well, I think it's both. We're committed to it. Every Republican at the table said we've got to start with border security. I think we've kept the faith on that issue.

Source: Fox News Sunday 2013, on 2014 Illinois Senate race Apr 14, 2013

Mark Curran: Deporting working people with families is absolutely wrong

I believe in the rule of law. We're talking about people that have been here for 20 years and they have five children that are U.S. citizens. And they came here under this message: "Don't worry about it. You can get into this country. You can work, and nobody's ever going to ask about it." Now we're going to deport them? To me that's absolutely wrong.
Source: PBS Frontline on 2020 Illinois Senate race Oct 18, 2011

Mark Curran: When rights of one are in jeopardy, rights of all are

Q: Do you worry if you deny due process to any individual, with or without papers, that makes it easier for due process to be denied to an American citizen?

CURRAN: Absolutely. When the rights of one are in jeopardy, then the rights of all are. I think that that's clearly a concern, because if our law tends to go in that direction and say that something is no longer constitutional, what's to prevent it from being broadened or expanded to take that right away from you or me as well?

Source: PBS Frontline on 2020 Illinois Senate race Oct 18, 2011

Alexi Giannoulias: Comprehensive reform with responsible path to citizenship

Our immigration system is broken. The number of undocumented workers continues to grow by about 500,000 per year, and the system that oversees the immigration process is weighed down by bureaucracy and lack of funding. The US needs comprehensive immigration reform that protects the rights of all workers and modernizes our legal immigration programs:
  • Alexi supports efforts to protect the integrity of our borders by adding personnel, infrastructure and technology at our ports and borders.
  • Most undocumented immigrants come to the US in search of employment. The federal government must increase its enforcement of existing immigration laws and hold accountable the companies that provide jobs for undocumented immigrants.
  • We should place th nation's 12 million undocumented immigrants on a responsible path to citizenship. Alexi supports a plan that requires undocumented workers to pay a fine for entering the country illegally, learn English, pay taxes and wait in line to become citizens. Source: 2010 Senate campaign website, AlexiForIllinois.com, "Issues" Dec 25, 2009

    Alexi Giannoulias: Don't punish immigrant kids; DREAM Act yes; REAL ID no

    Source: 2010 Senate campaign website, AlexiForIllinois.com, "Issues" Dec 25, 2009

    Cynthia McKinney: Illegal immigration shouldn’t be a labor policy

    McKinney answered questions from the crowd on issues including illegal immigration. She said she disagreed with the term “illegal immigration” and that the issue is a result of American economic, military and foreign policy. “Illegal immigration shouldn’t be a labor policy, just as war shouldn’t be an energy policy,” McKinney said.
    Source: Codell Rodriguez in The Southern Illinoisian Dec 8, 2007

    • The above quotations are from State of Illinois Politicians: Archives.
    • Click here for definitions & background information on Immigration.
    • Click here for other issues (main summary page).
    2020 Presidential contenders on Immigration:
      Democrats running for President:
    Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
    V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
    Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
    Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
    Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
    Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
    Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
    Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
    Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
    Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
    Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
    Gov.Deval Patrick (D-MA)
    Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
    CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
    Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
    Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
    CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)

    2020 Third Party Candidates:
    Rep.Justin Amash (L-MI)
    CEO Don Blankenship (C-WV)
    Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
    Howie Hawkins (G-NY)
    Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
    Howard Schultz(I-WA)
    Gov.Jesse Ventura (I-MN)
    Republicans running for President:
    Sen.Ted Cruz(R-TX)
    Gov.Larry Hogan (R-MD)
    Gov.John Kasich(R-OH)
    V.P.Mike Pence(R-IN)
    Gov.Mark Sanford (R-SC)
    Pres.Donald Trump(R-NY)
    Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
    Gov.Bill Weld(R-MA & L-NY)

    2020 Withdrawn Democratic Candidates:
    Sen.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
    Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
    Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
    Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
    Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
    Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
    Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
    Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
    Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
    Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
    Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
    Adm.Joe Sestak (D-PA)
    Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
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    Page last updated: Jan 28, 2021