Important resources and news for immigrants

Building Bridges, Not Walls. Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Mayors of Mexico City, Guadalajara and Juarez Reaffirm Shared Commitment to All Immigrants

The Office of New Americans (ONA) works to ensure that Chicago is a welcoming city for immigrants. Here are some events and opportunities for immigrants:

Please, see and share attached information in English and Spanish.

The Chicago Board of Health today passed a resolution in support of immigrant rights, calling on all medical and healthcare providers in Chicago to adopt policies and procedures to actively protect immigrants. The resolution also reiterates Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s recent statements that Chicago is and will remain a sanctuary city.

See Chicago Board of Health’s Resolution to Address Public Health Concerns Related to the Rights of Immigrants (attached to this email)

  • All Chicago residents, regardless of immigration status, can use City services. To aid in these uncertain times, Mayor Emanuel has organized the Chicago Is With You Task Force to ensure that all immigrants and refugees know their rights and resources

Please, see and share attached information on the City’s resources for immigrants and refugees (available in English, Spanish, Hindi, Mandarin, Arabic, and Polish).

  • Defend Against ICE Raids and Community Arrests

Please, see and share the ICE RAID TOOLKIT, prepared Immigrant Defense Project (IDP) and the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), attached to this email.

Thank you,

Mayor’s Office of New Americans 

Learn more about what we do.

Refugees still welcome (despite failed efforts otherwise)

Immigration Quick Update

Refugee ban remains blocked

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the temporary restraining order preventing the Trump administration from applying its unlawful executive order banning entry to the United States of refugees and citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries. This battle is not over. We anticipate that the administration will double down on its policy and will be unwilling to admit its error, but we have confidence that at the end of the day this executive order will not stand. Read more.

Know your safety plan

It’s important to prepare a safety plan in the event you or loved ones are caught up in immigration enforcement actions. Share this graphic with important information about your rights and tips to start your plan.

More Know Your Rights information is available on NIJC’s website.

Shop to support immigrants!

Visit Women & Children First Bookstore, which is donating 14% of sales to the National Immigrant Justice Center through tomorrow! The store is located in the Andersonville neighborhood in Chicago and is participating in With Love from Andersonville, where local businesses donate part of their sales to organizations and causes. Thanks to Women & Children First for their support!

Immigration Updates: Support for immigrants in the spotlight

NIJC Immigration Updates
February 9, 2017

Support for immigrants in the spotlight

As President Trump has lashed out against immigrants and refugees in recent weeks, our communities have stood strong together to affirm that the United States is a welcoming country.

NIJC’s pro bono network has stepped up to help meet the growing demand for immigration legal services, catching the attention of the Chicago Tribune. A record breaking 300 attorneys, eager to represent immigrants and asylum seekers, participated in NIJC’s latest training.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit heard oral arguments this week on the Washington district court’s stay of the president’s refugee and country ban. We expect the appeals court to issue its decision very soon and we will keep you updated with the results and what they mean for our communities.

Courts across the country are reviewing legal challenges to the president’s travel ban. NBC published an overview of these cases, including NIJC’s amicus brief supporting the district court’s decision in Washington state temporarily blocking the order.

As the courts contemplate the legality of the travel ban, NIJC is advising noncitizens traveling abroad to return to the United States as soon as possible and those already in the United States to seek legal counsel before leaving the country. NIJC Executive Director Mary Meg McCarthy shared this guidance with The New York Times over the weekend.

Join the immigrant justice team

NIJC is hiring across all projects so we can continue defending immigrant rights and respond quickly to anti-immigrant actions. Work for justice and join us at this critical time! Read more about jobs at NIJC.

Attend an upcoming event

NIJC is hosting and participating in a number of events to educate the community, train pro bono attorneys, and encourage conversation about immigrant rights. Attend and spread the word about our Know Your Rights information sessions, and check out our full event calendar. We’ll be scheduling and posting additional events soon.

ALMA Stands Against President Trump’s Immigration & Refugee Executive Orders

ALMA Stands Against President Trump’s Immigration & Refugee Executive Orders

The Association of Latina/os Motivating Action (ALMA) joins the thousands of voices protesting President Trump’s Executive Orders – particularly those that ban the entry of refugees (including legal permanent residents) into our country; rush orders to build a wall along the Mexican border; and threaten to prevent federal funding for sanctuary cities and counties like Chicago and Cook County.

Not only is this an attack on immigrant, refugee, and Muslim communities; these impulsive and carelessly implemented orders also put many LGBTQ individuals into increasingly dangerous situations as they are attempting to flee life-threatening situations in other countries and seek safety in the United States. This is a disturbingly dark moment in our country’s history.

During his inauguration, President Trump promised to be a leader for all Americans, yet these Executive Orders break the spirit of that commitment. Instead of building walls and further breaking families apart, Mr. Trump should focus on building bridges between communities across this country.

So many have worked so hard to create safe communities for LGBTQ people, immigrants, and refugees in Chicago, Cook County, and all across Illinois. We have seen much progress, but have always kept in mind the work still to come. The political climate during the presidential campaign, after the election and, especially, during the past couple of weeks has made our work more challenging, yet even more important. Now more than ever, we must reignite our commitment to social justice.

ALMA stands in solidarity with all of the individuals and communities affected by the Trump administration’s agenda. We stand shoulder to shoulder, ready to fight against these acts of injustice. We will continue to organize, speak out, and take action.

We encourage all of you to contact your legislators and share your frustrations. Continue to engage in dialogue with families, friends, and neighbors. Our commitment for a better world begins in our very own communities. We will not stand idly and allow the President break us apart.

In solidarity and action,

What’s going on? Executive order info, actions, resources & more

It is more important than ever that we stand up to support the immigrant community. Thank you to everyone who took action, donated, and spoke out against President Trump’s recent anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim executive orders. Here’s a brief update to help you understand what’s going on and how you can help.

The executive orders

  • Immigration enforcement and border wall orders: On January 25, President Trump issued two executive orders.
    • The border enforcement order, annotated here, puts forth the president’s proposal to build a massive wall on the border in addition to a dangerous array of policies that will undermine basic due process protections and the basic rights of asylum seekers seeking safety on our southern border.
    • The interior enforcement order, annotated here, outlines massive changes to the interior enforcement of the immigration laws, placing unconstitutional restraints on community policing efforts and announcing a set of enforcement priorities that are certain to breed racial profiling while tearing communities apart.
  • Refugee ban order: On January 27, the president issued a third executive order suspending the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, and blocking entry of refugees and other immigrants from Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, and Libya. The Washington Post published an annotated version of this order, though please note that the legality of this order already has been subject to federal court orders and its enforcement at airports and other ports of entry has been inconsistent and rapidly changing over the past few days.

The response

  • On Saturday and Sunday, thousands showed up at O’Hare airport to protest the refugee ban. NIJC staff were on site with hundreds of other attorneys providing legal assistance. Fortunately, all of the individuals detained because of the executive order were released. If you hear of anyone who is stuck abroad or is afraid they won’t be let on a flight because of the executive order, please email
  • View NIJC’s community alert for individuals and families from the seven countries affected by the refugee ban.

Take action

  • Voice your support for immigrants. Use the U.S. Capitol switchboard at (202) 334-3121 to call your Senators and House representative and tell them to take strong action to support immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers. Speak out in support of sanctuary city ordinances. Thank city council members and mayors who have supported sanctuary city and welcoming city ordinances, and tell them you expect them to stand firm in defending immigrants.
  • Get a legal consultation. If you or someone you know has questions about an immigration matter, we strongly recommend a legal screening to evaluate your options and whether you qualify for a permanent form of immigration relief. To schedule an appointment with NIJC, please call 312-660-1370 or email
  • Join our team. NIJC is hiring legal and non-legal staff across all projects. View open jobs at NIJC. We’ll be adding more positions soon, so keep checking our careers page on our website.
  • Donate to NIJC. Contribute to NIJC’s emergency response fund to expand legal services to reach and support individuals and communities in the wake of anti-immigrant actions. THANK YOU to the many of you who have already contributed—please encourage your friends and family to do so too!

Resisting Trump’s Executive Actions Against Immigrants and Refugees

Thank you to all the incredible organizations that stepped up this past week. We saw rapid response press conferences and rallies at the airport with thousands in attendance. Special thank you to Arab American Action Network for their leadership in planning the amazing airport actions, and the many organizations that came out to support with their leaders with only a few hours notice. You all have continued to make Illinois a national leader in the resistance.

Moving forward, we wanted to make sure you had the following important dates on your calendar:

TOMORROW, February 1 Press Conference and Rally, 4:30pm 

Join Arab American Action Network, Asian Americans Advancing Justice and others to continue the resistance at the Department of Homeland Security Office, 525 W Van Buren St. Check out the event page Here

March 4th ICIRR Leadership Summit at Chicago Teacher’s Union

Following our January 14th rally, ICIRR members agreed to hold a leadership summit on March 4th to invite our elected officials respond publicly to the community’s Platform for Unity, Resistance and Respect. Stay tuned for more information and RSVP Here

March 15th ICIRR Immigrant and Refugee Rights Lobby Day

ICIRR is holding a lobby day on March 15th where we aim to fill the rotunda and demand that Illinois be welcoming to all. RSVP Here

May 1st Immigrant & Refugee Rights March

Get ready to take to the streets on May Day! Save the date and stay tuned for more information to come.

How You Can Get Involved and Stay Involved

Get Connected! Be sure sign up and get involved on our Website, and follow our Facebook page, and Twitter account where we’ll be posting more emergency rally information and “Know Your Rights” Information.

Donate Here!  

ICIRR’s Response to Trump’s Executive Actions

The “Know Your Rights” meme below went viral on facebook and twitter and has been viewed 4.6 Million times! Help spread the word and find the translated version on our facebook page

ICIRR In The News

ICIRR Response to Executive Action: Executive Orders Betray Foundation of America

Chicago Reader: Lawyers to Immigrants: Know Your Rights

NBC Chicago: Activists rally at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport Against Trump’s Order on Refugees

Chicago Tribune: Chicago advocates condemn Trump’s order on refugees, migrants

Public News Service: Trump’s Travel Ban Leads to More Protests, More Fear

Crain’s Chicago Business: Four things to know about Chicago’s immigration bar

Huffington Post: America Just Sent Back A Syrian Woman Trying To Visit Her Sick Mother

CBS Chicago: Immigration Advocates Call Trump’s Refugee Restrictions ‘Misguided’

DNA Info: Trump’s Crackdown will “Demonize” Immigrants, Chicago Advocates Say

21st Show: Iillinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights Speak Out About The Immigration Executive Order 

ONA Update: Chicago Is Committed To Being A Sanctuary City For Immigrants

The Office of New Americans (ONA) works to ensure that Chicago is a welcoming city for immigrants. Here are some resources and news for immigrants:

·      Chicago Is Committed To Being A Sanctuary City For Immigrants

“Today I want to be very clear. The City of Chicago is here for you. We are going to ensure Chicago is a safe, secure, and supportive city for all our residents.” –Mayor Rahm Emanuel

Watch the video of Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

·      Mayor Emanuel Calls for Citywide Actions of Welcoming

“One hundred years ago, the people of Chicago opened their hearts and their homes to my grandfather when he immigrated to this great city, fleeing the pogroms of Eastern Europe in search of freedom and opportunity. In that spirit, in the coming days, my family and I will host DREAMers attending Chicago Public Schools and Chicago City Colleges for a meal, a conversation, and a recognition and celebration of all that unites us, rather than what divides us. I am asking every interested resident of the City of Chicago to join us by hosting a similar meal in your own homes and at restaurants in your own neighborhoods, or by sharing welcoming words through a phone call or email. At a moment of unease and vulnerability for so many, let’s come together as a city and put action behind our words and the values we hold dear as a welcoming city. Let’s show the world that the City of Big Shoulders is also a city of big hearts.” 

More information is attached to this email. 

·      New CPD Twitter in Spanish

As part of our continuing effort to ensure that our police department reflects the diverse city it serves, the Chicago Police Department has unveiled Twitter in Spanish, @ChicagoPD_Vivo. We are very excited to have taken on this venture and bridge the gap even further with our Latino community. 

Como parte de nuestro esfuerzo continuo para asegurar que nuestro Departamento de Policía refleja la diversa ciudad a la que sirve, el Departamento de Policía de Chicago ha develado su Twitter en español, @ChicagoPD_Vivo. Estamos muy entusiasmados en haber asumido este proyecto y aún más en unirnos con nuestra comunidad latina.

·      Call to action from Welcoming America

Call your U.S. Senators and Representatives to tell them you welcome refugees, and that our country should live up to its values and remain a welcoming place. Here are ideas for what to tell them.

Sign the petition
Tell the President that America is a welcoming country and that stopping this program will have profound and detrimental consequences.

Call and thank your mayor and other local officials who are supporting immigrants and refugees, or urge them to do so.

Support local organizations that help immigrants and refugees. They need your help more than ever. Volunteer, donate or support a refugee family.Find volunteer opportunities here.

·      Webinar To Discuss Safe Learning Environments for Muslim and Sikh Youth

On February 1, 2017, from 3 to 4:30 p.m. ET, OJJDP and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration will present “E-Module Learning: Creating Safe and Accepting Academic Environments for Muslim and Sikh Youth.” Goals of this webinar are to enhance cultural competency and understanding of Muslim and Sikh youth and explore awareness issues that impact the community, such as anti-Muslim hate and xenophobia.

·      Are you preparing for the naturalization test?

Periodically, answers change to reflect the results of federal and state elections and appointments or to clarify content and ensure consistency in terminology. The revised answers to the questions are effective immediately. This information is also in this web alert on and on theCitizenship Resource Center.

·      Trump says sanctuary cities are hotbeds of crime. Data say the opposite

The “sanctuary cities” that President Trump has repeatedly characterized as incubators of crime are generally safer than other cities, according to a new analysis of FBI crime data. 

·      How To Get Involved

Thank you for your concern and commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in Chicago. The Office of New Americans (ONA) is organizing an effort – the “Chicago Is With You” Task Force – to support Chicago’s immigrant and refugee communities. This taskforce includes numerous public, private, non-profit, and faith-based organizations, but we need all the help we can get. Listed below are the four taskforce subcommittees, along with links to online resources and email lists. Please distribute these resources widely and consider signing up for one or more email lists to receive updates, additional resources, and opportunities to contribute your time and money to this worthy cause.

      I.     Legal Protection/Services

a.    Lead: National Immigrant Justice Center

b.    Resources

     II.     Community Outreach/Education

a.    Lead: The Resurrection Project

b.    Resources

   III.     Mental Health/Well-being

a.    Lead: Lurie Children’s Hospital

b.    Resources

   IV.     Employer Communications/Diversity Training

a.    Lead: Illinois Business Immigration Coalition

b.    Resources

·      Community Resources on Trump’s ‘Muslim Ban’ from Muslim Advocates are attached to this email 

·      Every year, The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans supports thirty New Americans, immigrants or the children of immigrants, who are pursuing graduate school in the United States. Full eligibility requirements can be found here.

 Thank you,

Office of New Americans

 Learn more about what we do:

TRUST Collective Denounces Trump’s Attack on Immigrants & Sanctuary Cities

TRUST Collective-Chicago joins the various organizations and individuals denouncing Donald Trump’s attack on immigrants and their families and the sanctuary cities that welcome them. The executive orders recently signed by Trump are not aimed to protect the United States from illegal immigration or terror attacks. They are an attack on what the promise of America is about- opportunity, access, and prosperity, defined on your own terms. Yet beyond a promise, the United States is a sovereign government tasked with protecting its founders’ aims and its descendants’ futures. These recent acts by the Trump Administration are threats to national security, undermining the very essence of government responsibility. As a government of, for, and by the people, it is our civic duty to hold our leaders accountable for neglectful and abusive overreach of governmental power. While the effects of such overreach are too exhaustive to name, building border walls and defunding vital, municipal programs will cost lives, undercut crucial infrastructure, and likely perpetuate unjust law and order. The disastrous effects of such actions will be felt by all Americans, in time. We cannot allow the demonization of certain groups to become the new normal of this great country. We cannot allow this administration’s discriminatory actions to define who WE are as Americans.
TRUST Collective-Chicago’s mission is to bridge, support, and foster relationships across the Chicago area toward building a unified front and reducing targeted violence and discrimination. Founded in July 2016, we (Latinx, LGBTQ+, and Muslim communities) have gathered “Post-Orlando” to improve our collaborative efforts across the Chicago area toward reducing targeted violence and discrimination. We value honoring differences to build a more unified future.