The law, which goes into effect January 1, 2020, prohibits someone’s immigration status to be used against them in a way that would prevent them from testifying freely and safely in civil court.
The bill was signed by Governor J.B. Pritzker on Friday, August 23, 2019. Pritzker said, “I’m proud to sign this bill into law to ensure immigrants can seek justice without fear. In this state, we will take every action to protect our immigrant communities because they are a vital part of our state and deserve to live with dignity.”
If a party seeks to offer evidence relating to a person’s immigration status, they must file a written motion outlining the evidence and the purpose for which it is offered at least 14 days before the hearing or trial. The presiding judge would then hold a hearing in private (in camera) to determine if the party’s immigrations status is pertinent to the case. That information would be sealed.
Furthermore, the law makes the use of the status for the purpose of intimidation a Class C misdemeanor.