McHenry County case puts TRUST Act to the test

WOODSTOCK, Ill. -- A case in McHenry County is putting a recently signed law in Illinois to the test.

Attorneys for Niceforo Hernandez-Macedo say he is being held at the McHenry county jail in violation of that new law known as the TRUST Act.

The 46-year old father of 3 lives in Crystal Lake and works as a landscaper. He's charged with misdemeanor domestic battery.

After several days of back and forth, his family was allowed to post his 500 dollar bond, yesterday. But McHenry County authorities have refused to release him. That's because they're saying there is an Immigration and Customs Enforcement hold on his case and his immigration status is unclear.

Macedo has been in the US for more than 20 years. And his attorneys say that McHenry County does not have a federal warrant signed by a judge to detain him. That's where this new law,  The Illinois trust act, just signed by Governor Bruce Rauner on Monday, comes in. It blocks local police from detaining people solely based on their immigration status.

 

McHenry County Sheriff Bill Prim said in a statement to the Tribune:

"We have a public act less than a week old with a sweeping effect that has yet to be interpreted by any court. Our objective is to move slowly and cautiously, with public safety as our foremost consideration, consistent with constitutional responsibilities," he goes on to say "... The defendant in question is charged with a crime of violence, which makes us even more reluctant to make hasty decisions.

Macedo's attorneys point out other surrounding counties are already complying with the law.