In a controversial move, Illinois Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker just signed a bill allowing non-citizens to become police officers.
This includes anyone
who is legally authorized under federal law to work in the United States and is authorized under federal law to obtain, carry, or purchase or otherwise possess a firearm, or 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 and is authorized under federal law to obtain, carry, or purchase or otherwise possess a firearm.
While the legislation was supported by Republicans in the state legislature, Republican Rep. Mary Miller voiced opposition to it.
"At 5pm 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 tweeted.
"No sane state would allow foreign nationals to arrest their citizens, this is madness!" the congresswoman went on to insist.
Illinois Republican state Sen. Chapin Rose spoke up as well, saying, "It’s just a fundamentally bad idea. 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."
KHQA reported that The Illinois Fraternal Order of Police also criticized the bill in a statement issued 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?" the statement read.
"This is a potential crisis of confidence in law enforcement at a time when our officers need all the public confidence they can get," it insisted.
However, KHQA noted that the organization went on explain that it supports the hiring of potential police recruits "once their citizenship status is solidified."
Illinois is struggling with a shortage of police officers, something which was reflected by the results of a survey of police chiefs carried out earlier this year by the website Police1.
It found that Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police members listed "recruitment and retention" as being their number one challenge.