- Associated Press - Monday, January 5, 2015

CHICAGO (AP) - Outgoing Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn on Monday issued two executive orders he said were aimed at making the state more welcoming to immigrants.

The Chicago Democrat outlined several steps to help immigrants benefit from President Barack Obama’s recent executive action, which curbs deportation and gives work permits to some immigrants who came to the U.S. illegally. The governor said it’s possible 4 percent of Illinois’ population could benefit from the federal action.

Quinn also issued an order prohibiting state law enforcement agencies from stopping anyone based solely on citizenship or immigration status, or from detaining anyone based only on an immigration detainer or administrative warrant. He said that would make immigrants more likely to work with police if they witness or are victims of a crime.

“In Illinois, we want everyone to have the opportunity to succeed,” Quinn said in a statement. “By supporting our immigrant community and building trust with law enforcement, we continue our efforts to make Illinois the most welcoming state in the nation.”

The actions come as Quinn prepares to leave office Jan. 12, after losing his bid for a second full term to Republican businessman Bruce Rauner. A spokesman for Rauner said he didn’t have a comment on the orders.

Quinn says Illinois’ 10 existing Welcoming Centers, which were established to help new citizens and refugees access state and other services, should assist people applying for Obama’s federal action. He also ordered the Governor’s Office on New Americans to appoint a liaison in each state agency to assist applicants, and said state agencies must provide information on how to obtain necessary documentation, such as income tax, employment and housing records.

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