Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker – a Democrat – signed a bill into law on Friday that would allow non-U.S. citizens to become police officers. Opponents of the bill argue that it would be “madness” to allow foreign nationals to arrest American citizens.
After passing the Illinois State House and Senate, Pritzker signed into law Illinois House Bill 3751.
Illinois House Bill 3751 states:
Provides that an individual who is not a citizen but is legally authorized to work in the United States under federal law is authorized to apply for the position of police officer, subject to all requirements and limitations, other than citizenship, to which other applicants are subject.”
According to WTVO, “Illinois’ move would allow any immigrant with legal authorization to work, or who remains in the country under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Act, to apply for the position.”
CBS News Chicago reported last month, “Federal law states that only U.S. citizens can serve as police officers and deputies.”
There has been much opposition to the bill.
Republican Rep. Mary Miller of Illinois slammed the new law allowing non-U.S. citizens to become police officers on Saturday.
“At 5 p.m. yesterday, when no one was paying attention, Pritzker signed a bill to allow illegal immigrants to become police officers, giving non-citizens the power to arrest citizens in our state,” Miller wrote on Twitter. “No sane state would allow foreign nationals to arrest their citizens, this is madness!”
The Illinois Fraternal Order of Police declared earlier this month, “What message does this legislation send when it allows people who do not have legal status to become the enforcers of our laws? This is a potential crisis of confidence in law enforcement at a time when our officers need all the public confidence they can get.”
In May, Illinois state Sen. Chapin Rose (R) said it would be a “fundamental breach of democracy.”
“To hand the power to arrest and detain a citizen of this state, or a citizen of any state in the United States, to a non-citizen is a fundamental breach of democracy,” Rose proclaimed. “It is antithetical to the police power of any state.”
“It’s just a fundamentally bad idea,” he added.
The bill goes into effect in Illinois on Jan. 1, 2024.