Governor J.B. Pritzker (D-IL) signed a bill on Friday that will allow foreign nationals in the state to become police officers.
The bill, which was opposed by some police groups, including the Fraternal Order of Police, was one of 130 bills Pritzker signed on Friday. Effective immediately, foreign nationals will now be able to become police officers in the state.
The law, HB3751, says that foreign nationals who “are legally authorized under federal law to work in the United States” or any foreign national who “is an individual against whom immigration action has been deferred by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services under the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) process” can apply to become a police officer in the state.
The Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) condemned the bill earlier this year after it passed in the state House.
“What message does this legislation send when it allows people who do not have legal status to become the enforcers of our laws?” the group said in a statement. “This is a potential crisis of confidence in law enforcement at a time when our officers need all the public confidence they can get.”
During debate on the bill, Illinois state Sen. Chapin Rose (R) said it would be a “fundamental breach” of democracy to allow non-citizens to arrest American citizens.
“It’s just a fundamentally bad idea,” Rose said in May. “I don’t care where this individual is from. Australia — they should not be able to arrest a United States citizen on United States soil.”
Pritzker signed several other controversial bills, including one requiring state agencies to add “non-binary” or “gender non-conforming” categories to employment reports.
Another bill signed this week targets crisis pregnancy centers. The law will now allow Illinois’ attorney general to investigate a case of alleged consumer fraud against crisis pregnancy centers accused of deceptive practices. The law is largely taking aim at pro-life centers that suggest an association between abortion and breast cancer or infertility.
Right to Life Executive Director Mary Kate Zander said that the measure was “politically motivated” and “totally unsubstantiated.”
The Thomas More Society, a conservative law firm that fights in defense of religious liberty and free speech, filed a suit against the law on Thursday.
“This law is a blatant attempt to chill and silence pro-life speech under the guise of ‘consumer protection,’” said Peter Breen, Thomas More Society executive vice president and head of litigation. “Pregnancy help ministries provide real options and assistance to women and families in need, but instead of the praise they deserve, pro-abortion politicians are targeting these ministries with $50,000 fines and injunctions solely because of their pro-life viewpoint.”