Springfield, IL – With the surge in migrants coming to Illinois, State Representative C.D. Davidsmeyer (R-Murrayville) has filed legislation to repeal the TRUST Act, ending Illinois’ status as a sanctuary state for undocumented immigrants. The Illinois TRUST Act, enacted in 2017, made Illinois a sanctuary state for undocumented immigrants. The TRUST Act prohibits local law enforcement in Illinois from participating in immigration enforcement.
“The crisis at our southern border can no longer be ignored,” Rep. Davidsmeyer said. “Illinois has become a safe haven destination for illegal immigrants. They know that if they come here, our law enforcement agencies cannot cooperate with federal immigration authorities to detain or deport them. On top of that, the State of Illinois gives illegal immigrants free healthcare benefits, driver’s licenses, housing assistance, as well as other taxpayer-funded benefits. The time has come to end our status as a sanctuary state. We need to repeal the TRUST Act now!” House Bill 4187 repeals the Illinois TRUST ACT, ending Illinois’ status as a sanctuary state for undocumented immigrants. It would allow local law enforcement agencies to cooperate with federal immigration authorities. This legislation is necessary to stop the flow of undocumented immigrants into Illinois. According to the Federation for American Immigration Reform, there are approximately 628,000 undocumented immigrants in Illinois, costing taxpayers an estimated $2.9 billion annually.
Chicago is facing a humanitarian and budgetary catastrophe, due to its status as a sanctuary city. More than 18,500 migrants have been transported to Chicago from border states. The migrant crisis is likely to cost Chicago taxpayers $361 million in 2023 and the city has requested hundreds of millions of dollars from the State of Illinois to help it deal with this crisis.
Earlier this year, it was revealed that the estimated cost of Illinois’ healthcare benefits program for undocumented immigrants had ballooned to $1.1 billion. In response, Illinois House Republicans filed House Resolution 220, which called for a moratorium on enrollment and expansion of this benefits program, as well as an audit of program costs. Instead of taking action to reduce the cost of this massive taxpayer-funded program, Illinois Democrats kicked the can to Governor Pritzker to “manage” the program.
Just last week, the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) announced a temporary pause on new enrollees in the Health Benefits for Immigrant Seniors program, as the program hit its enrollment cap of 16,500 individuals. However, HFS has still not implemented co-pays and other cost-sharing measures and it is unlikely that the administration will be able to contain costs at the $550 million amount appropriate for the program.
The latest cost estimates from HFS show that those caps – combined with administrative delays in launching co-pay and co-insurance requirements for enrollees – have failed to control program spending. An analysis dated September 2023 from the HFS website shows the program is expected to cost $831 million in FY 2024, more than $280 million beyond the appropriated amount. That estimate was based on total program enrollment of nearly 69,000 immigrants.
“Illinois taxpayers cannot afford to pay for free healthcare benefits for illegal immigrants, especially at a time when healthcare costs for our own citizens continue to skyrocket,” Rep. Davidsmeyer said. “I have repeatedly voted against taxpayer-funded benefits for illegal immigrants, which have already cost taxpayers more than $1.5 billion. I am once again calling for the end of taxpayer-funded benefits for illegal immigrants.”
Representative Davidsmeyer is launching an online petition drive in support of his legislation to repeal the TRUST Act and end Illinois’ status as a sanctuary state for undocumented immigrants. Please visit his website at CDDavidsmeyer.org to sign the petition.