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Illinois Republican Party Platform #15 - PROTECTING THE RIGHT TO LIFE (electing pro-life Judges)

In 2009, the Chicago City Council passed a law that created a "bubble-zone" around abortion clinics. The law as enforced creates an 8-foot zones around people, and 50 feet around a medical facility. Anyone who enters that space without consent could face a $500 fine. The law essentially forbids "sidewalk counselors" from approaching women going to the clinics to try and talk them out of having an abortion. Supporters of the ordinance, such as Planned Parenthood of Illinois were "thrilled" with the ruling, stating that it "strikes a delicate balance between the right to free speech with the need to protect people from harassment and intimidation." Opponents, argued that it not only denied them their freedom of speech, but also discriminated against young women who were often young, afraid and unaware that they had other options available to them such as adoption.

In response, the Thomas More Society challenged the city's Bubble Zone Ordinance in federal court, asserting that the First Amendment rights of citizens and organizations were being denied, and that the law unconstitutionally restrains the peaceful work of the sidewalk counselors because it was applied against pro-lifers, but not clinic escorts. The City of Chicago filed a motion to block the suit, but on January 4, 2017 US District Judge Amy J. St. Eve ruled to dismiss the City of Chicago's motion and allow Pro-lifers to sue Chicago over the the "bubble-zone" law.

While Judge Amy J. St. Eve is not an elected judge, and was nominated by President George W. Bush, it is still a reminder about the role of judges in our constitutional system. Judges wield a tremendous amount of power to help or stop political forces from enforcing their will on us. So often, we focus on the governor's race, or a senator's race in Illinois but we forget that all politics begin local. Take Chief Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court Thomas R. Fitzgerald who began his career in 1976 as a Cook County Circuit Court Judge. Fitzgerald became the first Illinois chief justice to preside over the impeachment trial of a sitting governor when he presided over the impeachment trial of Governor Rod Blagojevich. The importance of electing Judges who will fight to protect the "right to life" for all including the unborn can not be over-stated. A more recent example, is the Judge Jennifer Ascher's ruling to dismiss a law suit from state Rep. Peter Breen and special counsel to the Thomas More Society to stop HB 40. HB 40 was recently signed by Gov. Rauner and allows tax-payer dollars to be used for public funding of abortions (more on that in a separate post).

So as we go to the polls this year, please educate yourself on all of our candidates, including which judges share the belief in the "fundamental right to life of unborn children" as defined in our Illinois Republican Party platform.


"We believe that our natural rights, as enshrined in the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of
Independence, begin at conception and continue until natural death. We believe that these rights
include the fundamental right to life of unborn children, and we support the appointment or
election of judges who share that belief."

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Illinois Republican Party Platform #14 - ADVOCATING A ‘FRONT DOOR’ POLICY ON IMMIGRATION (Illinois Trust Act SB 31)

With the support of 5 Republican Senators (shown from left to right) Chris Nybo (24th district Lombard), Karen McConnaughay (33rd district West Dundee), Pamela J. Althoff (32nd district McHenry), Dan McConchie (51st district - Barrington), and Christine Radogno (resigned 41st district Downers Grove), Senate Bill 31 was sent to Governor's Rauner's desk. On August 28, the governor signed the bill known as the Illinois TRUST Act into law as he sat in front of a crowd at the Mi Tierra restaurant in Chicago's Little Village neighborhood. In doing so, these senators and Governor Rauner defied the platform of the Illinois Party which calls on Illinois to assist the federal government in protecting our homeland and urging the reversal of "sanctuary city" policies. Many Republicans in Illinois viewed it as open resistance to the will of the people, and a betrayal of what Republicans fight for. Others saw it as protection for our police officers from the an overreaching federal government. According to resigned Senate Republican leader Christine Radogno, the "measure will help foster cooperation between certain communities and law enforcement"

The act redefines current law in Illinois to make it clear that State law does not grant local law enforcement the authority to enforce federal civil immigration laws, essentially prohibiting local or state police from cooperating with federal authorities who are investigating immigrants without a criminal warrant. It also forbids local and state police from stopping, searching or arresting anyone based solely on their immigration status. The bill establishes state funded-schools, health care facilities, hospitals nursing homes as well as facilities operated by the Secretary of State, circuit courts, appellate courts and the Supreme Court all as "safe zones". Illegal immigrants can not be apprehended in these "safe zones" without a judicial warrant or probable cause of criminal activity.

Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno and four other Republican state senators voted for the bill. Radogno reasoned that this act would help foster cooperation between the Latino communities in Chicago and Illinois and law enforcement making our streets safer. On the day, the bill passed in the house, June 297th, Senator Radogno resigned. The bill specifically excluded the words "sanctuary state", but make no mistake this bill made Illinois a sanctuary state. Almost immediately after the bill was signd Republicans John Cabbello of Rockford and David McSweeney of Barringon filed a bill to repeal and reverse the Illinois Trust Act.

From the 2016 Illinois Republican Party Platform


"We call on the Illinois government to assist our federal government in the mission of protecting our homeland. We therefore urge reversal of “sanctuary city” policies, which bar our law enforcement officers from aiding Immigration & Customs Enforcement agents. Border control is a national security and public safety issue. We further call on the federal government to secure and protect our borders and vigorously enforce the law of the land.

We further call on the federal and Illinois government to abandon all incentives that encourage illegal immigrants to settle in Illinois, as these incentives put a strain on our already struggling economy and are insulting to those who immigrated here legally."

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Illinois Republican Party Platform #13 - ADVOCATING A ‘FRONT DOOR’ POLICY ON IMMIGRATION (Kate's Law)

On June 29, Kate's Law (HR 3004) passed in the House proposing to increase penalties for deported aliens who try to return to the United States and are caught passed in the House 257 to 157. The law is named for Kate Steinle, a young woman in San Francisco who was killed by an illegal immigrant who was able to return and remain in the U.S. despite multiple deportations.

The bill provided a 2 year prison sentence for any illegal alien previously convicted of a crime who was caught trying to cross the border into the United States. It also increased the prison sentence for these illegal aliens up to 10 years for 3 or more misdemeanors or one felony, and 15 years for any previous 30 month sentence. Murder, rape, kidnapping or terrorism, would earn a 25 years.

This bill had very strong support from House Republican, and even enjoyed the support of a few democrats. Only one Republican Congressman voted against it, Justin Amash of Michigan. Amash argued that Kate's Law contained a provision that would deny Fifth amendment due process to some criminal defendants, relying on the argument that illegal aliens have have rights guaranteed them by the constitution. Unfortunately, the bill has a much tougher fight in the Senate where 60 votes will be needed to send it to Trump's desk. It's a sure bet that unlike our own Peter Roskam in the house who voted for Kate's law, Deomocrats Durbin and Duckworth will vote against it. We need to keep fighting to one day put a Republican back in the United States Senate to fight for Illinois Republican values.


"We strongly believe that those who have been deported for violating our laws by their conduct as residents of the United States should not be granted a second opportunity to take their place among us; this is a matter of both self-protection and of upholding public trust."

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Illinois Republican Party Platform #12 - ADVOCATING A ‘FRONT DOOR’ POLICY ON IMMIGRATION (MAVNI)

In the days following the 9/11 attacks, President George W. Bush authorized a expedited citizenship for military recruits via executive order, knowing that the military would need to grow rapidly as we pledged to attack terrorist cells around the globe. Recruits with potential to become translators or cultural experts were prioritized; however, anyone who met the requirements was permitted to go through the process. Under the Obama administration, the program known as Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest (MAVNI) was expanded, with recruits getting the opportunity to naturalize at the end of basic training. Since 2009, more than 10,400 individuals have enlisted or served in the U.S. military through MAVNI. Approximately 10,000 of those enlistees are still in the service or waiting to serve.
Upon completing the enlistment process, MAVNI enlistees may apply for U.S. citizenship through an expedited naturalization process that does not require the individual to be a permanent resident (green-card holder).

In August of this year under the Trump Administration, the Pentagon's inspector general released a classified report that identified serious problems with the program. Fox news reported that the Pentagon was expressing alarm over "foreign infiltration" among the current enrollees. Pentagon officials considered halting MAVNI, but instead instituted a more thorough back ground investigation and required
applicants to "receive a favorable military security suitability determination (MSSD) prior to entry in the active, reserve, or guard service." In addition, recruits would no longer receive expedited citizenship until after they complete 180 consecutive days of active service or a full year of satisfactory service in the

The MAVNI program has been caught up in the latest discussions on immigration among law makers, as over 800
DACA recipients have joined the military through MAVNI. While this is not a state specific issue, it is a key issue in our Illinois Republican Party Platform, and one that should be reviewed by our party. As we consider the critical need for more service men and women with specialized skills, we need to also need to consider the risks of providing an expedited path to citizenship through the program.


"We call for the consideration of full citizenship rights to be granted to any legal immigrant who has shown their willingness to embrace and defend American values upon the honorable
completion of service in the armed forces of the United States."

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Illinois Republican Party Platform #11 - ADVOCATING A ‘FRONT DOOR’ POLICY ON IMMIGRATION (H-1B Visa Program Abuse)

When people think of immigration policies, what comes to mind first is often border security, the wall, DACA and Sanctuary city policies, but often overlooked are the abuses of the H-1B visa lottery that allow non-immigrant workers to be in the U.S. temporarily for "special occupations" that require "highly specialized knowledge". Yet this is the first abuse outlined in the 2016 Illinois Republican Party Platform.

"We support American workers and believe government should ensure businesses only hire legal workers. We oppose the abuse of the worker visa program that puts Americans out of work"

In 2016, President Trump promised during his campaign to “end forever the use of the H-1B as a cheap labor program, and institute an absolute requirement to hire American workers first for every visa and immigration program”. This campaign promise made immediate enemies with Silicon valley, including CEOs like Mark Zuckerberg who wanted to expand the program. Then on April 3rd, of 2017 President Trump began to deliver on his promise when Department of Homeland Security announced it would being applying greater scrutiny of the H-1B Visa program, by heightening sight visits to find companies which were evading their obligation to make a good faith effort to hire U.S. workers.

Believe it or not, President Trump had a Democrat from Illinois as his ally in his efforts to crack-down on the H-1B Visa program. In fact, Illinois Senator Dick Durbin called out President Trump one month earlier for failing to follow through on his promise to put American workers first. Durbin sent a letter to Trump stating that the "“The American people deserve an explanation for your decision not to pursue H-1B reforms on your first day in office". Durbin explained,

"You must act immediately to prevent further harm to American workers. In early April, the government will conduct its annual lottery to decide which employers will receive Fiscal Year 2018 H-1B visas. So if you do not take action in the next few weeks, outsourcers will secure the right to import tens of thousands of low-wage foreign guest workers to replace American workers. This is in addition to hundreds of thousands of H-1B workers who are already employed by outsourcing companies in the United States."

It was a rare occassion when a Democratic Senator held our President's feet to the fire to support the Illinois Republican Platform. This abuse of the H-1b Visa program is not just an issue in Silicon Valley, it is a big problem here in our own sate. The biggest user of the H-1b Visa program is Accenture. The consulting firm uses worker visas for more employees than any other company in our state, and realizes savings up to 40%. Again it was Dick Durbin who testified at a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee hearing that the abuse is "worse to day than ever" and displaces qualified American workers.

In previous posts, I was accused of putting in a plug for Gov. Rauner, now it's fair game to accuse me of putting in a plug for "Dicky Durbin". But I just have to be honest, I could not find any other Illinois politicians who were vocal about the abuses of the H-1B Visa program. It's time we demand our elected Republican officials, and those running for office about their support to end the abuses of the H-1B Visa program. It's time Republicans in Illinois stop running away from pour president, and start stepping up and proudly join President Donald Trump in demanding our companies "Hire American'.


We are a nation of immigrants, and the Republican Party welcomes those who respect our laws and seek freedom and opportunity in our great country. We believe it is only right to expect that our new residents come in through the front door and join us in society as fellow Americans.

We call on the Federal Government to streamline the task of citizenship for legal immigrants to assimilate and complete the process of becoming Americans.

We support American workers and believe government should ensure businesses only hire legal workers. We oppose the abuse of the worker visa program that puts Americans out of work.

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Illinois Republican Party Platform #11 - Enhancing Public Safety for our Citizens (Repeat Gun Offenders)

In June of this 2017, members from both parties of Illinois broke from partisan lines and supported Senate Bill 1722 termed the Safe Neighborhoods Act. The legislation provided new tools for law enforcement and the courts to battle voiolent crime by raising the sentancing of some repeat gun offenders from the current 3-7 years to 7-14 years. The law also included several sentencing reforms, such as providing second chance probation elgibility for first time offenders. Gov. Rauner described it as a landmark effort. Critics question whether the new laws have any real impact on gun violence in Illinois. It is still too early to tell, Chicago did see a drop in homicides 2017 by 100 under previous year, but the number of slain still at a horrific toll of 664 people slain. Nevertheless, something was needed to be done, as Chicago Police Department Superintendent Eddie Johnson stated in August of 2016, "It’s time to stop talking and to get serious and take action when it comes to how we sentence our repeat gun offenders, I’m frustrated, you should be frustrated, all Chicagoans should be frustrated."

While some argue the tactics of the law, it did support the spirit of the Republican Party Platform to "aggressively prosecute [repeat] criminal offenders", and ensure that "Illinois citizens can feel safe in their neighborhoods, homes and businesses." But, when Chicago alone has 600+ killings per year, there is still so much more to do. To start with , our Republican platform also calls for supporting the rights of crime victims to be heard at sentencing and "sentence reduction" proceedings. Additional reforms for a comprehensive plan of prison closures, construction and usage is also included. in the platform.


"Because of the rise in crime by repeat offenders, we support efforts to aggressively prosecute criminal offenders.

We call on elected officials to remain steadfast in ensuring Illinois citizens can feel safe in theirneighborhoods, homes and businesses.

We believe the rights of crime victims are essential and there is a just criminal process. As a result, we support the rights of crime victims to give statements, to be heard by the court and other agencies at sentencing and in “sentence-reduction” proceedings and to be given notification upon the release of prisoners.

We call upon the legislature to develop a comprehensive and strategic economic impact plan (e.g., 5, 10 and 20 year) for Illinois’ prison closure, construction and usage policy."

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Illinois Republican Party Platform #10 - Enhancing Public Safety for our Citizens (The right to Bear Arms)

Illinois residents are required to have a Firearm Owner's Identification (FOID) card to purchase or possess a firearm or ammunition. The cards are issued by the Illinois State Police and require a Federal NICS background check. Both Republicans and Democrats support criminal background checks, but unlike the Democrats, the Republican party opposes any effort to release personal information from the FOID cards to the public. In March of 2011, Attorney General Lisa Madigan's office issued a ruling that the state must cooperate with a FOIA request made by the associate press, and ordered that the names of gun permit holders be made public. The list contained more than 1.3 million Illinois cardholders at the time. When the FOIA request was sent to the Illinois State Police, they argued that the request posed an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy and sued. On December 8, 2011 the Peoria County Circuit Court entered a permanent injunction making the information exempt from disclosure. As of 2011, the Illinois State Police are not required to release the names and addresses of individuals who possess Firearm Owner Identification (FOID) cards, and Republicans aim to keep it that way.

Futhermore, the Republican Party platform calls for the repeal of the FOID Act. The FOID Act (430 ILCS 65/) contains a plethora of regulations and requirements that stand between Illinois citizens and their lawful means of self-defense. According to www.ilgunrights.com, "The law is so poorly written that you can ask 12 different people for their interpretation and get 12 different answers". In general, the Republicans calls for sensible gun control laws that respect Section 22, Article I of the Illinois Bill of Rights,

“Subject only to the police power, the right of the individual citizen to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

These rights include both the right to privacy of gun owner's information and the right to carry a concealed weapon. In 2013, Illinois became the last state in the nation to allow concealed carry, and Republicans aim to keep it.


"We believe that day-to-day safety and security in our local communities is critical. Therefore, we strongly endorse and support the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, which states, in part, “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” As a result, we oppose any efforts by the state or municipalities to impede the right of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms.

We believe in the use of criminal background checks by licensed firearms dealers.

We oppose any effort to make public any personal information from FOID cards.

We support the statutory repeal of the FOID Act.

We support continued enactment of “Concealed Carry” legislation."

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Illinois Republican Party Platform #9 - Remaining Steadfast in Our National Security

In 2015, Governor Rauner joined a wave of mostly Republican governors when he announced that Illinois would temporarily stop accepting Syrian Refugees. This was right after the Paris terrorist attacks, and after then President Obama doubled down on his commitment to take in at least 10,000 Syrian refugees. According to Gov. Rauner, a pause was needed until we "find a way to balance our tradition as a state welcoming of refugees while ensuring the safety and security of our citizens." Just two years later, in 2017, Rauner seemed to step back and avoid taking a stand when President Donald Trump ordered a halt to immigration and refugees. When asked, Rauner's administration responded that he was supportive of a "tightening of the vetting process for Syrian refugees because of ISIS attempts to infiltrate refugee flows -- but he's opposed to immigration bans that target any specific religion". This softening of Rauner's stance on refugees, raised some concern by conservatives if the Republican Party was standing firm on their platform "to pause their efforts or incentives to settle foreign refugees in Illinois unless there are adequate assurances they pose no threats upon our citizens."

As a Republican party, we understand that the threats to our nation are real, and along with a pause on refugees, the Republican party also calls for military superiority and strong border security at our ports and borders.


We believe our government’s paramount responsibility is to protect American citizens.

We believe it is critical to retain our military superiority in order to deter potential adversaries.

We believe elected officials should support and adequately fund agencies that protect Americans and insure strong security at our ports of entry and borders.

We call upon elected officials to adequately secure our country’s borders.

We call upon elected officials to pause their efforts or incentives to settle foreign refugees in Illinois unless there are adequate assurances they pose no threats upon our citizens.

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