Register Today for ICIRR’s 2017 Immigration Integration Policy Symposium!

This year, ICIRR is proud to announce Juan Saldago, Chancellor of the City Colleges of Chicago, as Keynote Speaker for ICIRR’s 2017 Immigrant Integration Policy Symposium! We hope you can join us at our annual gathering as we bring together key stakeholders in 5 policy areas most crucial to the integration and prosperity of immigrant families in Illinois. Click Here to Register!

Plenary Session, Building Alliances Across Communities and Issueswill feature Jawanza Malone, Mony Ruiz-Velasco, Kristina Tendilla, Sarah Yousuf, Suzanne Akhras Sahloul, and will be moderated by Alejandra Ibañez. The session will feature panelists discussing their experiences building alliances across communities and issue campaigns, and the challenges and lessons-learned in being a good ally.  

Panel Sessions for the 2017 Symposium Include:

  • College Access for Undocumented Students: Educating and Empowering Allies on Resources for Undocumented Students
  • Building Resilience in Our Communities by Increasing Health Care Access    
  • Moving Immigrant Lives Forward: Opportunities for Positive Change in a New Administration
  • Democracy, Demographics and Data: Understanding Immigrant Civic Engagement as We Move Towards 2020
  • Equity for Human Services: A Common Sense Approach to Illinois’ Budget Crisis

Visit our website here for more details!

Please register by Oct. 25th following the link on the flyer or click here! Please let ICIRR’s Health Policy Director Luvia Quinones know if you have any questions at lquinones@icirr.org.

White House Immigration Principles Put Children and Families at Risk

White House Immigration Principles Put Children and Families at Risk

On Sunday, October 8, the Trump Administration unveiled its principles for reform of the U.S. immigration system. The long list includes policy proposals that would further ramp up immigration enforcement, severely cut overall immigration, and penalize localities that choose to limit collaboration with federal immigration authorities. The principles also seek to significantly roll back critical protections for vulnerable asylum-seeking children and drastically cut the number of refugees. The release of these principles comes just over a month after the Trump Administration’s heartless decision to terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and uproot the lives of over 800,000 immigrant youth and young adults, about a quarter of whom are parents.

In response, Olivia Golden, executive director of CLASP, made the following statement:

“President Trump’s immigration principles not only fail to deliver a path forward, but also represent an affront to our nation’s proud immigration history. Over the past year CLASP has condemned the administration’s racist and extremist attacks on immigrants across the country. From ramped-up immigration enforcement that is tearing families apart to policy proposals that threaten to deny vulnerable children the most fundamental protections, this administration is clearly headed in the wrong direction.

“We urge Congress to heed the overwhelming bipartisan support for the Dream Act and act urgently to pass it. Addressing the immediate threat facing DACA youth should not be contingent on harmful proposals that undermine our nation’s values and put children and families at risk. We are committed to continuing to work with our partners in the anti-poverty community to advocate for passage of a clean Dream Act and to fight back against misguided proposals that seek to undermine the safety and vitality of immigrant and refugee families.”

Read CLASP’s statement in support of the Dream Act of 2017.

Read CLASP’s analysis of the Trump Administration’s immigration enforcement orders.

Read Olivia Golden’s commentary on protections for unaccompanied children.

Read CLASP’s statement in opposition to the RAISE Act.

VIEW THE STATEMENT HERE

Tell Congress: Pass a clean DREAM Act now!

One month ago today, Trump killed the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, cruelly putting nearly 800,000 immigrant youth in grave danger of detention and deportation.

So today, on the last day DACA renewal applications can be received, activists in D.C. are holding a rally and visiting members of Congress individually as part of a DACA Day of Action — calling on Congress to immediately pass a clean Dream Act.

You can be a part of this day of action too, Julio. Click here to call Congress right now and urge them to pass a clean DREAM Act without delay!

It’s urgent that Congress takes immediate action because after today, hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients will be at risk of deportation. But there’s a solution that can provide a certain future for immigrant youth, one that doesn’t bargain their freedom at the expense of their families’ safety.

It’s called the DREAM Act, and it currently has bipartisan support in both the House and Senate and backing from two-thirds of Republican voters.1 And if we show a groundswell of support for a clean DREAM Act, we can win.

Will you help elevate the voices of our DACAmented youth by calling members of Congress and urging them to support a clean DREAM Act? Click here to view a script and make a call right now.

When no one thought it could be done, immigrant youth and their allies joined together to form a grassroots movement to win DACA. Now we must do it again to pass a clean DREAM Act and ensure immigrant youth are here to stay. Click here to make a call.

Thanks for being an activist,

Amanda Johnson
Working Families Party

Sources:

1. Poll: Two-thirds of Republicans Back Citizenship for DACA RecipientsThe Hill, September 22, 2017

Action Alert! Urge Gov Rauner to Oppose Graham Cassidy

As early as next Monday, Sept 25th Congress could be voting on the newest Affordable Care Act Repeal bill: Graham-Cassidy.

This bill hurts immigrant families.

The Graham Cassidy repeal bill is dangerous and we MUST do everything we can to stop this bill in its tracks before it harms families. If this bill passes, it would:

  • Eliminate the financial assistance that helps low- and moderate-income families purchase health care coverage;
  • End expanded Medicaid coverage that helps millions of low-income adults;
  • Jeopardize access to the most effective treatments for addiction and weaken states’ efforts to address the current crisis of drug overdose deaths;
  • Undermine essential protections for people with pre-existing conditions, including HIV;
  • Resurrect – and worsen – the devastating cuts in coverage and benefits that the American public and the majority of Congress have already rejected.
  • Attack women’s health, as it removes protection from preexisting conditions.
  • Additionally, the state of Illinois would lose $1.4 billion in federal Medicaid funding by 2026, rising to $9.26 billion in 2027.

Call Gov. Bruce Rauner at 312-814-2121 NOW and demand that he publicly oppose the Graham Cassidy proposal. Governors have proven to be crucial in building opposition to ACA repeal in Congress.

Other serious problems with the Graham Cassidy proposal include:

  • The elimination of the Marketplaces & subsidies would eliminate the option for many immigrants who are not eligible for Medicaid or CHIP to obtain quality, affordable health coverage. It would be a huge step backward and create a loss of coverage in immigrant and mixed-status families.
  • The bill houses its new program—a block grant to states to address health issues in a variety of ways—is housed in the CHIP program. By our reading, this means that the funds available for states must follow CHIP eligibility rules—meaning they are limited to qualified immigrants (unless a state elects to cover lawfully present children and/or pregnant women)
  • The bill would strike from the law some good language regarding privacy and protecting mixed-status that has provided a model for how programs should be structured, for instance explicitly stating that only information necessary for determining eligibility can be collected. Without the underlying ACA Marketplaces, substantively it might not have much effect, but it eliminates a model policy we have often uplifted.

Take Action Now! Call Gov. Rauner and learn more at ProtectOurCareIL.org!

Find DACA Resources & What You Can Do to Take Action!

Here’s what ICIRR and our members and allies are doing in response to the rescission of DACA. Below you will find a list of critical resources leading up to the October 5th deadline to reapply for DACA, and ways that you can get involved to take action.

Click here to visit www.icirr.org/daca to see the latest information available.

Click the image below for a list of upcoming DACA workshops between now and Oct. 5th & DACA renewal fee assistance 

NIJC Denounces Trump’s Termination of DACA, Urges DACA Recipients to Seek Legal Counsel

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Tara Tidwell Cullen
ttidwellcullen@heartlandalliance.org
(312) 660-1337(312) 833-2967

NIJC DENOUNCES TRUMP’S TERMINATION OF DACA PROGRAM

DACA Recipients Urged to Seek Legal Counsel, Understand Their Rights

CHICAGO (September 5, 2017) – Heartland Alliance’s National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) is outraged by the Trump administration’s decision to discontinue the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Statement of NIJC Executive Director Mary Meg McCarthy:

“Terminating DACA is a cruel and unjust attack on hundreds of thousands of men and women who have lived most of their lives in the United States as our neighbors, classmates, coworkers, employers, and family members. It is the latest example of the president succumbing to pressure from the most extreme racist and xenophobic factions of his party. By striking DACA, he has thrown  thousands of American families’ futures into uncertainty, brought instability to employers across the country who will lose valuable employees, and further exacerbated fear in communities already coping with the suffocating presence of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers in their neighborhoods. Today, we call on Congress to defend DACA recipients and all immigrants who are being targeted by the Trump administration’s deportation dragnet.”

If you are affected by today’s announcement:

Consult with qualified immigration attorneys about your rights and potential legal options. NIJC is offering the following legal information events and resources:

  • NIJC and The Resurrection Project will host weekly “DACA Tuesdays” information sessions throughout September at community organizations around southwest Chicago. The first session is TONIGHT, September 5, at 5:30 p.m., at La Casa, 1815 S. Paulina St., Chicago. For a full calendar of DACA Tuesday events, visit immigrantjustice.org/calendar/daca-tuesdays-1
  • NIJC will host a community information session on Wednesday, September 6, at 6:00 p.m. at NIJC’s office in the Chicago Loop, 208 S. LaSalle St., Suite 1300. The information session will be streamed live on NIJC’s Facebook page at facebook.com/immigrantjustice. For a full calendar of NIJC legal information sessions, visit immigrantjustice.org/calendar/infosessions
  • NIJC will participate in an information session hosted by Goshen College on Thursday, September 7, at 6:00 p.m. at College Mennonite Church, 1900 S Main St, Goshen, Indiana
  • Schools and groups in the Chicago area and northern Indiana may also request legal information sessions in their own communities by completing the request form atimmigrantjustice.org/infosessions
  • To schedule a legal consultation with NIJC, please call 312-660-1370 or emailnijcild@heartlandalliance.org

Allies: Help Defend DACA and All Immigrant Communities

Tell Congress to pass legislation that protects DACA recipients and respects the rights of all undocumented immigrants. Take action here.

About DACA: The DACA program was established in 2012 as a temporary solution for millions of undocumented immigrants who have grown up in the United States but, due to Congress’s failure to pass a fair immigration reform bill, had no opportunity to legalize their immigration status. In the program’s five-year history, DACA provided a temporary work authorization and a reprieve from deportation to nearly 800,000 men and women who met the program’s stringent requirements. Because of DACA, individuals remained with and supported their families in the United States, completed their educations, launched careers, bought homes, and participated in society without fear that they may suddenly be exiled from the only home they have ever known.

NIJC attorneys are available for interviews about the legal ramifications of today’s announcement. Contact Tara Tidwell Cullen, director of communications, (312) 660-1337,ttidwellcullen@heartlandalliance.org.

With offices in Chicago, Indiana, and Washington, D.C., Heartland Alliance’s National Immigrant Justice Center is a nongovernmental organization dedicated to ensuring human rights protections and access to justice for all immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers through a unique combination of direct services, policy reform, impact litigation, and public education. For more information visit immigrantjustice.org

Forum Statement on DACA – Call on Congress to Pass the DREAM Act

Latino Policy Forum Statement
The White House Rescinds DACA

Call on Congress to Pass the DREAM Act!

CHICAGO, IL – Today the Trump administration formally announced its decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program within the next six months. Doing so immediately upends the lives and livelihoods of nearly 800,000 young people, including 42,000-plus Illinoisans, and millions more family members. The Latino Policy Forum unequivocally opposes this decision as irredeemably flawed public policy, morally bankrupt political leadership, and shortsighted economic thinking.

In response to today’s announcement, we call on Congress to make the DREAM Act (S. 1615) an immediate legislative priority. The DREAM Act, co-sponsored by Illinois’ senior Senator Richard Durbin, would allow current DACA recipients and others who may be DACA eligible to remain in the country immediately while also providing an eventual pathway to citizenship.

The DACA program was implemented in August 2012 and has provided recipients with a renewable two-year reprieve from deportation and the incalculable peace of mind that comes with being able to live their lives without the fear of deportation. In exchange, these individuals voluntarily identified themselves to the federal government and trusted in the federal government to treat them with humanity and fairness while a long-term, legislative solution could be agreed upon.

“Not only is the rescission of DACA unconscionable and cruel, it is simply bad public policy,” said Sylvia Puente, executive director of the Forum. “After months of seesawing between explicitly threatening the programs demise as a presidential candidate and recently making vague promises to treat DACA recipients with ‘heart,’ the President has once again capitulated to the openly xenophobic wing of his base of support.”

The Forum also rejects two false narratives that have been discussed in relation to DACA. We unequivocally reject the:

  1. Continued criminalization of immigrant communities and communities of color. Attorney General Sessions’ remarks today baselessly invoked ‘lawlessness’ and ‘terrorism’ to justify the decision to rescind DACA. Such language is also falsely applied to other communities of color to justify unjust policies that disproportionately criminalize immigrants across the country.
  2. Divide and conquer strategy that continually pits immigrants (undocumented or not) versus U.S.-born workers, particularly African Americans. Veiled comments from Trump surrogates and the Attorney General’s remarks today that rescinding DACA will “further the lives of people struggling economically” only serve to fuel resentment of immigrants and their presence in this country.

As we debate the future of DACA and possible legislation in the coming months we also call for a political and social dialogue on the push factors and root causes of migration in sending countries.

The Latino Policy Forum and allies across the State of Illinois and the country will continue to push for humane policies that recognize the gifts and contributions made to our society by our immigrant sisters and brothers. For more information and updates on the future of DACA, please click here to visit the Forum’s Impacto page.