Governor-Elect JB Pritzker Vows To Stand Up For Immigrants In Illinois

Rob Hart
December 07, 2018 - 2:07 pm

WBBM Newsradio/Rob Hart

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Governor-elect JB Pritzker promises that Illinois will protect immigrants when he takes office next month.

Calling himself a governor that immigrants can depend on, Governor-elect JB Pritzker told the Illinois Business Immigration Coalition at a forum on Friday that his administration will try to remove what he calls the "climate of fear" created by President Trump that impacts immigrants who have attained American citizenship and undocumented immigrants alike.

"Illinois should be a place that stands up for our millions of immigrants that call this state home," Pritzker said.

He said that includes the 450,000 undocumented immigrants in the state.

"And the 42,000 DACA recipients, it's our obligation. It's the right thing to do," Pritzker said.

"When the federal government and Donald Trump are trying to implement bans on Muslims, for example, or have suggested registries or other impositions on people's rights in the state of Illinois, we should be looking at every which way that we can expand the Trust Act to protect people," Pritzker said.

The Trust Act was signed into law last summer.  It prohibits local police from conducting federal immigration enforcement.

"As Governor, you can count on me to stand up, to speak out, and act whenever the federal government or anyone else is attacking the people of Illinois or failing to protect the people of Illinois."

Pritzker said immigration is a personal issue. His great grandfather was an immigrant from Ukraine 100 years ago, lived in the basement of a train station, and got on his feet thanks to social service agencies and public education.

"And I know my great grandfather is somewhere looking down saying 'my goodness you became governor of the state of Illinois,'" he laughed.