No, new Illinois bill does not allow ‘illegal immigrants’ to become police officers in the U.S.

By: Umme Kulsum
August 14 2023

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No, new Illinois bill does not allow ‘illegal immigrants’ to become police officers in the U.S.


The Verdict False

The law allows non-citizens to become police officers, but only if they're legally entitled to work in the U.S., having a green card or a work permit.

Claim ID 02ea3af6


In late July 2023, J.B. Pritzker, the Democratic governor of Illinois, signed a bill-3751 allowing non-U.S. citizens to apply for jobs as police officers. Following this announcement, a misleading narrative was shared widely on social media that claimed that this bill would allow ‘illegal Immigrants’ to become police officers. The narrative quickly gained momentum, going viral on various social media platforms. 

An X post by United States Representative Mary Miller reads, “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. No sane state would allow foreign nationals to arrest their citizens, this is madness!.” The post had gained 1 million views and was shared about 10,000 times as of August 11. 

A Facebook post sharing a screenshot of Miller's X post was captioned, “Illinois Governor signs bill allowing illegal aliens to become police officers and arrest US citizens."


Source: Facebook/@Brett Alexander, Altered by Logically Fact

However, the new bill allows only non-citizens who are eligible for work under federal law to become police officers.

In fact

On July 28, 2023, governor J.B. Pritzker signed Illinois House Bill 3751, which states, “An individual who is not a citizen but is legally authorized to work in the United States under federal law is authorized to apply for the position of a police officer."  

The bill elaborates that, “An individual who is not a citizen but is legally authorized to work in the United States under federal law or 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 is authorized to apply for the position of police officer, subject to (i) all requirements and limitations, other than citizenship, to which other applicants are subject and (ii) the individual being authorized under federal law to obtain, carry, or purchase or otherwise possess a firearm.”

In a media briefing video shared by the government of Illinois from Jul 31, 2023, Pritzker responded to a question by a reporter, saying, “Undocumented immigrants are not allowed to become police officers in the state of Illinois. Still, what we have allowed is legal permanent residents and DACA recipients now to become police officers.” He further said, “There are people out there that think that we’re just allowing anybody to become a police officer. That’s just not accurate.” 

This shows that Illinois will allow only non-citizens authorized to work and own guns to apply to become police officers. According to federal law, only U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, and other people lawfully in the country can possess guns. An illegal immigrant cannot become a police officer in the state.

The verdict

Non-citizens can now become police officers in Illinois under a new law, but they must clear a background check and be legally permitted to work in the United States. Illegal immigrants will not be authorized to become police officers. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.

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We rely on information to make meaningful decisions that affect our lives, but the nature of the internet means that misinformation reaches more people faster than ever before