Castro SB 2079SPRINGFIELD – This year, State Senator Cristina Castro (D- Elgin) spearheaded a measure to enhance the Voices of Immigrant Communities Empowering Survivors Act in order to encourage people to report crimes without fear of jeopardizing their immigration status. The legislation was signed into law on Monday.

“Everyone deserves to be able to protect themselves from crime, and a big part of that is having the ability to report wrongs against them or their loved ones to law enforcement,” Castro said. “The VOICES Act and these enhancements will help both victims harmed by criminal activity and law enforcement looking to investigate the criminal activity.”

The VOICES Act was initially passed to ensure that immigrant survivors of trafficking and certain qualifying violent crimes will have uniform access to the U or T visa throughout the state. In order for an immigrant survivor of crime to qualify for U or T visas, they must first obtain a signed certification from the relevant law enforcement agency affirming the applicant’s willingness to cooperate in the investigation or prosecution of the case.

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Gavel CastroSPRINGFIELD – Under a new law championed by State Senator Cristina Castro (D- Elgin), immigrants from age 18 to 21 will now see increased protections in line with federal law.

“The young people who will be affected by this law are some of the most vulnerable in our state,” Castro said. “I am glad to see this extension of protections signed into law, bringing Illinois in line with what is already practiced at the federal level.”

The law allows a court hearing a case under the Juvenile Court Act to designate a young adult as a “special immigrant minor.” This allows the court to place the young adult with a guardian if it is not viable to place them with a parent due to neglect, abuse or abandonment.

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Castro SB 294SPRINGFIELD –State Senator Cristina Castro (D- Elgin) spearheaded a new law to update standards for nonwoven disposable wipes that can damage sewer systems when improperly disposed through being flushed down toilets.

“Non-flushable wipes that are improperly disposed of cause millions of dollars of damage to our sewer systems every year,” Castro said. “The law will help clear up confusion that consumers might have about what kind of products can and cannot be flushed, which will help protect our systems.”

Over the last 20 years, the market for nonwoven disposable wipes has grown, with a corresponding increase in improper disposal by flushing the products. These kinds of wipes can be used for personal care or for wiping down surfaces, like baby wipes or disinfectant wipes. Wipes combined with other substances like fats, oils or grease can lead to major blockages resulting in damage to sewer systems. The wipes also cause damage to home plumbing and septic systems.

The new law requires manufacturers of disposable wipes to clearly label products as “do not flush” and gives wastewater districts the ability enforce the act through fines for violations. There is currently no regulatory standard for labeling products like these, which can lead to consumer confusion about which kinds of wipes can be flushed.

Senate Bill 294 was signed into law on Friday and it goes into effect July 1, 2022.

Category: News

Castro SB 667AURORA – State Senator Cristina Castro (D- Elgin) is proud to see the signing of a measure that will prohibit state and local law enforcement officials from arresting individuals for immigration violations and encourage residents to report crimes without fear of jeopardizing their immigration status.

“There is no reason for law enforcement officials to ask someone about their immigration status when they report a crime,” said Castro, a co-sponsor of the legislation. “This law will do more to support and empower immigrants in our community who often fear interactions, even positive ones, with law enforcement officials.”

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Contact Info

District Office:
The Professional Building
164 Division Street, Suite #102
Elgin, IL 60120
847-214-8864 phone
847-214-8867 facsimile

Springfield Office:
121 D Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
217-782-7746 phone


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