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Viatorians Support Illinois Trust Act

July 7, 2017

A bill designed to protect immigrants in Illinois has drawn widespread support from the Viatorian Community.

The Illinois Trust Act would prevent state law enforcement agencies from engaging in immigration actions unless there is a warrant. It also would bar federal agents from making arrests in schools and health care facilities. The bill has passed through both the Illinois House and Senate, and now is in the hands of the governor.

Viatorians were among the 165 faith leaders to sign a letter urging Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner to sign the bill. Viatorian professed members included: Br. Michael Gosch and Br. James Lewnard, as well as Fr. Corey Brost, Fr. Mark Francis, Fr. Greg Jones, Fr. Moses Mesh, Fr. John Milton, Fr. Jason Nesbit, Fr. John Peeters, Fr. John Van Wiel and Fr. Thomas von Behren. They joined with the members of the Viatorian Provincial Council in signing the letter that will be delivered July 13 to the governor.

“As people of faith, we are called to stand in solidarity with immigrants in our midst who are in real danger of having their families separated and taken away from the homes they have created in our state,” the letter stated. “Illinois has always chosen to act with love towards immigrants becoming a source of stability for immigrant families. The Trust Act will reassure all immigrants that they are welcome and that the state will do everything it can to protect them and their families.” 

The main provisions of the Trust Act are:

  • Bar local law enforcement from engaging in immigration enforcement without a court-issued warrant
  • Assist immigrant crime victims seeking legal protection
  • Bar federal agents from making arrests in schools and health facilities
  • Bar local participation in a federal registry based on country of origin or religion

“Our diverse faiths teach us that families are sacred, that we are inextricably bound to one another, and that we are called to protect the most vulnerable among us,” the letter concluded. “We urge you to give us confidence that our state will remain a beacon of hope for immigrants.”