Although federal authorities typically handle the enforcement of immigration rules in Illinois, state and local jurisdictions have become increasingly involved with assisting in immigration-related offenses and issues. Some of the information that state agencies collect about you may be sent to federal government databases.
Illinois only participates in some programs
All states participate in a program called “Secure Communities,” whereby arrested and detained immigrants are fingerprinted. This information is then run through a database to determine whether the detainees have legal immigration status. While the federal government requires business owners to check the status of newly hired personnel, Illinois State Immigration Laws prohibit companies from using a system called E-verify to confirm the status of applicants and newly hired personnel to work in the United States. Illinois companies cannot enroll in this system until its accuracy and timeliness issues are resolved. In addition, Illinois prohibits public agencies from using this system and establishes privacy and anti-discrimination protections for employees once businesses can use E-Verify and don’t follow the program rules.
Other situations where immigrants will need to prove their status is when obtaining a driver’s license or a state identification card or when applying for public benefits. Illegal immigrants cannot apply for either one.
What if my status is reported incorrectly?
Immigration rules are fluid and constantly changing. Employers need to follow the rules set forth by the state of Illinois and correctly report your status when required to do so. However, some individuals may try to prevent you from working or report an incorrect status because of prejudice against you and your country of origin.
Additionally, you must ensure that you maintain your legal status if you are not yet a U.S. citizen. Regularly review your legal status requirements to ensure you have followed the rules.