State Sen. Willie Delgado supports the Smart Enforcement Act

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Springfield, IL – Illinois State Senator William Delgado (D-Chicago) attended a press conference in Chicago today with the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) to discuss House Bill 1598, the Smart Enforcement Act.

“This legislation is a cost-saving immigration reform measure that is pro-law enforcement and pro-family,” stated Senator Delgado, Chairman of the Senate Public Health Committee.  “This legislation will allow communities to opt out of the program and bar the use of state funds for
the deportation of immigrants who are not criminals.”

House Bill 1598 addresses flaws in the federal Secure Communities program.  In counties that participate in this program, fingerprints that police departments take when booking suspects get sent to US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to identify immigrants who can
be deported.  The ICE has been advertising Secure Communities as a tool to catch serious criminals, “the worst of the worst.”  In Illinois, however, 46% of people whom ICE has arrested under Secure Communities have no criminal records.

“Hundreds of families are being separated everyday because of the senseless deportations caused by Secure Communities,” said Father Larry Dowling from the Priests for Justice for Immigrants. “We are supporting the Smart Enforcement bill which will protect innocent mothers, fathers and children from deportation and would allow local enforcement agencies to focus on protecting our communities from real criminals.”

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