Repeal the Trust Act

With the surge in migrants coming to Illinois, House Republicans are supporting 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 and prohibits local law enforcement in Illinois from participating in immigration enforcement. The measure backed by House Republicans would instead 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.

House Minority Leader Tony McCombie is backing the legislation to repeal the TRUST Act, House Bill 4187, which was filed earlier this week in the Illinois House and awaits further consideration. To gain support for the measure, McCombie is encouraging Illinois residents to sign a petition: