On Monday, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker hit back at critics who blasted him for signing into law last week a measure allowing non-citizens to apply to become police officers, NBC Chicago reported.
The bill, HB3751, which passed the General Assembly earlier this year, will allow non-citizens who are “legally authorized to work in the United States” to apply with Illinois police departments starting on January 1, 2024.
When Pritzker signed the bill last week, some Republicans in Congress, including Reps. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) and Mary Miller (R-IL) condemned the legislation, incorrectly suggesting that the law would apply to non-citizens in the country illegally.
In a tweet last weekend, Rep. Miller falsely claimed that the measure would permit illegal aliens to become police officers with the “power to arrest citizens in our state.” Miller slammed the law, saying, “No sane state would allow foreign nationals to arrest their citizens.”
During a press conference on Monday, Pritzker blasted the critics, saying that they are misrepresenting the language in the legislation.
He said he is “tired” of how “right-wing” politicians twist things and “tell lies” on social media. He said because of these lies, some people now believe that Illinois is “allowing anybody to become a police officer,” noting that this is “not accurate.”
The Democrat governor told reporters that the measure is limited to non-citizens, like permanent green card holders and DACA residents, who are legally permitted to work in the United States and can legally possess firearms.
Pritzker pointed out that other states already have similar laws in place and thousands of DACA recipients and legal permanent residents currently serve in the US military.
According to MyStateLine, the Illinois Municipal League and the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police supported the measure. The Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police initially opposed the legislation but later amended its position to remain neutral.