Menu

Illinois Criminal Code of 1961

Article 17A: Public Benefits Crimes by Immigrants

In this section of Illinois law, legislators discuss crimes specific to those facing deportation. Any person against whom an order of deportation has been filed is prohibited from receiving certain governmental benefits, such as any benefit under the Illinois Public Aid code. If this person continues to accept benefits, he or she can be prosecuted. A violation can qualify as up to a Class 1 felony, and a convicted defendant is required to pay back the benefits that were received.

Need an Illinois criminal defense attorney? If you've been arrested for this crime in Illinois, call our Chicago criminal defense attorneys today at (312) 466-9466 to discuss your case.

The text below comes from Article 17B of the Illinois Criminal Code of 1961. This law may have changed -- please read the important legal disclaimer at the bottom of this page.

(720 ILCS 5/17A-1) (from Ch. 38, par. 17A-1)

Sec. 17A-1. Persons under deportation order; ineligible for benefits. An individual against whom a United States Immigration Judge has issued an order of deportation which has been affirmed by the Board of Immigration Review, as well as an individual who appeals such an order pending appeal, under paragraph 19 of Section 241(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act relating to persecution of others on account of race, religion, national origin or political opinion under the direction of or in association with the Nazi government of Germany or its allies, shall be ineligible for the following benefits authorized by State law:

(a) The homestead exemptions and homestead improvement exemption under Article 15 of the Property Tax Code.

(b) Grants under the Senior Citizens and Disabled Persons Property Tax Relief and Pharmaceutical Assistance Act.

(c) The double income tax exemption conferred upon persons 65 years of age or older by Section 204 of the Illinois Income Tax Act.

(d) Grants provided by the Department on Aging.

(e) Reductions in vehicle registration fees under Section 3-806.3 of the Illinois Vehicle Code.

(f) Free fishing and reduced fishing license fees under Sections 20-5 and 20-40 of the Fish and Aquatic Life Code.

(g) Tuition free courses for senior citizens under the Senior Citizen Courses Act.

(h) Any benefits under the Illinois Public Aid Code. (Source: P.A. 95-644, eff. 10-12-07.) 720 ILCS 5/17A-2

(720 ILCS 5/17A-2) (from Ch. 38, par. 17A-2)

Sec. 17A-2. Any grants awarded to persons described in Section 17A-1 of this Act may be recovered by the State of Illinois in a civil action commenced by the Attorney General in the circuit court of Sangamon County or the State's Attorney of the county of residence of the person described in Section 17A-1 of this Act. (Source: P.A. 84-1391.) 720 ILCS 5/17A-3

(720 ILCS 5/17A-3) (from Ch. 38, par. 17A-3)

Sec. 17A-3. (a) Any person who has been found by a court to have received benefits in violation of Section 17A-1 where:

(1) the total monetary value of the benefits involved in the violation is less than $150, shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor;

(2) the total monetary value of the benefits involved in the violation is $150 or more but less than $1,000, shall be guilty of a Class 4 felony;

(3) the total monetary value of the benefits involved in the violation is $1,000 or more but less than $5,000, shall be guilty of a Class 3 felony;

(4) the total monetary value of the benefits involved in the violation is $5,000 or more but less than $10,000, shall be guilty of a Class 2 felony; or

(5) the total monetary value of the benefits involved in the violation is $10,000 or more, shall be guilty of a Class 1 felony.

(b) Any person who commits a subsequent violation of Section 17A-1 and:

(1) the total monetary value of the benefits involved in the subsequent violation is less than $150, shall be guilty of a Class 4 felony;

(2) the total monetary value of the benefits involved in the subsequent violation is $150 or more but less than $1,000, shall be guilty of a Class 3 felony;

(3) the total monetary value of the benefits involved in the subsequent violation is $1,000 or more but less than $5,000, shall be guilty of a Class 2 felony;

(4) the total monetary value of the benefits involved in the subsequent violation is $5,000 or more but less than $10,000, shall be guilty of a Class 1 felony.

(c) For purposes of determining the classification of offense under this Section, all of the monetary value of the benefits received as a result of the unlawful act, practice or course of conduct can be accumulated. (Source: P.A. 84-1391.) 720 ILCS 5/17A-3.1

(720 ILCS 5/17A-3.1) (from Ch. 38, par. 17A-3.1)

Sec. 17A-3.1. An individual described in Section 17A-1 who has been deported shall be restored to any benefits which that individual has been denied under State law pursuant to Section 17A-1 if (a) the Attorney General of the United States has issued an order cancelling deportation and has adjusted the status of the individual to that of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the United States or (b) the country to which the individual has been deported adjudicates or exonerates the individual in a judicial or administrative proceeding as not being guilty of the persecution of others on account of race, religion, national origin or political opinion under the direction of or in association with the Nazi government of Germany or its allies. (Source: P.A. 84-1391.) 720 ILCS 5/17A-4

(720 ILCS 5/17A-4) (from Ch. 38, par. 17A-4)

Sec. 17A-4. This Article shall be applicable to persons who have filed applications for benefits prior to, on or after its effective date. (Source: P.A. 84-1391.)

   Return to Illinois Criminal Code of 1961 Table of Contents

DISCLAIMER: These excerpts from the law are provided for reference purposes only. Visitors to our Chicago criminal defense lawyer website should be aware that Illinois criminal laws have been amended many times and that Illinois crime laws posted on this site may not be current. In addition, Illinois criminal case law defines precedents for legal determinations that are not defined in the original laws.

Chicago Criminal Defense Lawyer - (312) 466-9466 

Chicago Office

900 W. Jackson Blvd.

Suite 5W

Chicago, IL 60607

Map & Contact Info