Senator VillanuevaSPRINGFIELD –State Senator Celina Villanueva (D-Chicago) released the following statement on Illinois’ policy to no longer refer undocumented immigrants who have served their sentences within the Illinois prison system to federal immigration custody:

“I am the daughter of immigrants and hearing my colleagues and members of law enforcement repeat the President’s racist rhetoric breaks my heart.

“Our criminal justice system does not exist to serve ICE. Law enforcement should not aid and abet the deportation machine. Communities of color, specifically immigrant communities, need to know that they can trust law enforcement regardless of citizenship status.

“These sheriffs are the same people who profit from the jailing of immigrants communities. It is clear that they are more concerned with losing profits than with upholding the dignity and human rights of immigrants of color.

“Law enforcement is strongest when it has a strong relationship with the community. The policy to stop the Department of Corrections from coordinating with ICE, as outlined in the TRUST Act, is a step in the right direction and will help communities of color rebuild their relationship with law enforcement.

“I want to thank Gov. Pritzker for complying with state law and for using his voice to support our communities. I look forward to working with him to make Illinois a welcoming state for immigrants.”