News, resources and events 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:

Pedro Pedroza is the first DACA recipient to work in the Chicago mayor’s office. He doesn’t plan to be the last.

Read this article in Spanish.

  • Youth Mental Health Support

The Center for Childhood Resilience has issued an ALERT to professionals and community members who work with and know undocumented/DACA/Dreamer youth.  Additional materials are attached to this email.

An  influential group of Chicago-area business leaders, including some of the city’s most prominent current and past CEOs, is urging President-elect Donald Trump to scuttle a crucial aspect of his hardline anti-immigration policy — the mass deportation of unauthorized youths.

  • Know Your Rights (KYR) trainings and legal support

The National Immigrant Justice Center is a non-profit organization that provides comprehensive legal immigration services. For legal resources, support and upcoming KYR trainings, please see the attached information (in English and Spanish).

  • “Chicago is with You” Task Force subcommittees

The Task Force will have four subcommittees: Legal Protection, Community Outreach/Education, Mental Health/Well-Being, and Diversity Training/Employer Communications. If you are interested in joining the work of the subcommittees, please write us to, indicating the Subcommittee of your interest and contact information.

Our New President

Donald Trump is getting inaugurated as President of the United States today. Read more below about what you can do to push back against the challenges vulnerable communities will face in the years to come, and collectively build power to advance justice in our cities, states and country.

President Trump: Day/Week One:

ICIRR is preparing for the possibility that shortly following the Inauguration, some protections of immigrants and refugees may be rescinded, including Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA.)  If and when this happens, there is no need to panic. We urge those concerned to seek reliable and trusted guidance (referrals below) and call on everyone to engage in efforts to advance just solutions for all immigrants and refugees in the years to come.

Need Help?  We’re here for you:

ICIRR and Illinois is Ready are offering the following immediate resources, which we urge you to share widely:

Looking for legal advice or to talk to a Mental Health Care Professional?

Call our Hotline:  1-855-HELP-MY-FAMILY (1-855-435-7693) Languages available: English/Spanish/Korean/Polish

Or Visit for advice and resources

Tonight (Friday, January 20th 6pm) at Casa Michoachan, we will host a Community Forum with attorneys and mental health professionals available to provide support and answer questions.  Address: 1638 S Blue Island Ave, Chicago, IL 60608

Get Involved!

ICIRR has published a Platform of Resistance, Unity and Respect. Click this link to to learn about local, state and federal solutions to to support immigrants, refugees, and workers.

Check out our “Calls for Action” page to get instructions to call on your elected officials to support the platform.

Click here to sign up to stay informed about upcoming actions and learn how you can get involved in Rise Up Illinois, ICIRR’s campaign for Resistance, Unity and Respect.

Donate Here!

Every dollar helps lift up the voices of immigrants and refugees.  Visit our donation page!

Over  1200 people gathered on Saturday at the Chicago Teacher’s Union to call for Resistance, Unity and Respect! We garnered national and international attention from the press, as we unveiled our Platform for Resistance, Unity and Respect!  Special thanks to the 42+ phenomenal organizations that participated and helped make the rally a great success.

Bulgarian National Television: Anti-Trump Protest


The rally was part of a series of national actions taking place in over 60 cities throughout the country!

Join Events in Chicago This Weekend!

Friday, January 20th 3-5pmResist Trump Rally, Daley Plaza (50 W. Washington, Chicago IL, 60602)

Saturday, January 21st 10am: Join hands with your sisters and attend the Women’s March on Chicago at 10am in Grant Park, meeting at Jackson and Columbus.

Immigration updates / Actualizacion de inmigracion

Immigration updates


o   More Central Americans were apprehended on the border than Mexicans, for only the second time ever, in FY16. This is a serious refugee situation that needs to be dealt with humanely

o   Total number of people deported from the interior of the country (not on the border) declined; the enforcement priorities have taken effect but family separation still occurring.


Hola Compañeras/os,

Esta semana marca el inicio de una nueva presidencia. Hay bastantes esfuerzos, local y nacionalmente, centrados en responsabilizar al nuevo presidente por sus acciones y palabras. El Forum continuará haciendo todo lo posible para responsabilizar a nuestros funcionarios electos y apoyar su trabajo como líderes en comunidades Latinas e inmigrantes. ¡Si algunos de ustedes tienen talleres/foros comunitarios planificados, favor de enviar esa información a mi directamente para enviar al Acuerdo!

Actualización de inmigración



The Office of New Americans (ONA) works to ensure that Chicago is a welcoming 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:

Since June 2012, more than 752,000 people who came to the United States as children have benefitted from Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. This initiative has provided recipients with a temporary reprieve from deportation and renewable work permits. DACA has lessened the barriers for these recipients to reach their full potential—they have been able to secure good jobs, obtain driver’s licenses, and pursue higher education—so that they might better contribute to their communities. A 2016 survey of DACA recipients shows that they work across many different industries ranging from educational and health services to nonprofits. Along with receiving higher wages, DACA recipients are buying cars, homes, and other goods and services to boost local economies.

Do we believe in the American Dream or not? That’s the question the nation faces after learning that President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team is reviewing President Barack Obama’s executive orders, including one that protects young immigrants from deportation. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program allows young people who were brought to the United States before the age of 16 to stay in the country and work. Candidate Trump expressed opposition to DACA. More recently, however, President-elect Trump has said that he’s open to protecting young immigrants.

Determined to start over, these refugees are taking steady steps to make Chicago their home.

Pedro Pedroza Rodríguez llego a Chicago cuando tenía cuatro años. Por su buen desempeño, obtuvo una beca en una prestigiada universidad y hoy trabaja en el ayuntamiento, desde donde busca ayudar a los migrantes en tiempos inciertos

  • “Chicago is with You” Task Force subcommittees

The Task Force will have four subcommittees: Legal Protection, Community Outreach/Education, Mental Health/Well-Being, and Diversity Training/Employer Communications. If you are interested in joining the work of the subcommittees, please write us to, indicating the Subcommittee of your interest and contact information.

Learn more about what we do:

ONA Update: Chicago Will Continue to Be a Welcoming City

The Office of New Americans (ONA) will continue working to ensure that Chicago is a welcoming city for immigrants. ONA has developed programs to support Becoming a Citizen, Deferred Action, and Support for Entrepreneurs and Undocumented Students, among others. These are some of the City of Chicago’s recent actions for immigrants:

  • City Council Approves Budget Amendment to Support Mayor Emanuel’s Chicago Legal Protection Fund

The Chicago City Council approved Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s amendment to the 2017 budget that redirects $1.3 million in support of the Chicago Legal Protection Fund. Earlier this month, the Mayor announced the creation of the Fund in response to a critical need to increase legal services for immigrant communities across the City amidst threats of deportation following the Presidential election.

  • Mayor Emanuel brings together municipal leaders to urge President-Elect Trump to continue DACA

Chicago along with New York City, Los Angeles, Houston, Philadelphia and other Mayors cautioned the Administration about the economic impact eliminating the program would have, citing the potential loss of $9.9 billion in tax contributions over the next four years

On December 8th, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and mayors from across the country sent  a letter to President-elect Donald Trump urging him to continue the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program until Congress modernizes the immigration system and provides a more permanent form of relief for the close to one million young people who were brought to the United States before they were 16.

  • Mayor Emanuel joins Senator Durbin and Congressman Gutierrez in launching the new “Chicago is with You” Task Force

The Task Force will collaborate on mental health, legal services, diversity training for employers and education to ensure the comprehensive delivery of services to the immigrant, refugees and other disenfranchised communities.

In addition to working on the four policy areas, the task force will also begin working to develop a website that will provide information about immigration resources and connect Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) youth to Chicagoans who have volunteered to provide assistance.

  • Mayor Emanuel creates legal protection fund with national immigrant protection center, pledges $1 million to start the fund

Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced the creation of a Legal Protection Fund in partnership with the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) to assist thousands of immigrants and refugees threatened with deportation, pledging $1 million to start the fund. The Mayor also challenged the private and philanthropic community to join the effort to provide legal resources to these families in need.

This investment would allow NIJC and its partner law firms to serve more than 3,000 additional residents through legal consultations and representation in immigration cases, representing a 50 percent increase over the services they currently provide to immigrant communities.

Learn more about what we do:

Read the Chicago New Americans Plan:

Immigration Updates: New look and renewed commitment to justice

NIJC is looking good and working harder than ever

Have you seen our new website? NIJC’s new look comes with a renewed commitment to fight for justice and defend the rights of everyone in our communities. Our new design not only looks better, but is more organized so you can find information to be informed about immigration issues, resources to help you and your familiy navigate the immigration system, and ways you can get more involved in the immigrant rights movement. Visit NIJC’s new website.

NIJC stands with immigrants and refugees in America’s continuing fight for justice

NIJC always has and always will fight for the rights of immigrant families even against challenging odds. We continue to stand with the individuals and families who have contributed to our society for years, and help as many people as we can obtain lawful status. We stand with the immigrants who make our nation strong. Read NIJC’s full response to the election results.

Join us and share your support for immigrants on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

As we prepare for a new administration, read four things immigrants and their families should know right now.

Everyone in the United States, including undocumented immigrants, has rights under the U.S. Constitution. Make sure you know your rights and exercise them.

Former immigration judges condemn mass incarceration of immigrants

A dozen former immigration judges and 230 civil and immigrant rights organizations, including NIJC, told the Department of Homeland Security to stop the mass jailing of immigrants and demanded true detention reform. Read more.

Open jobs at NIJC

Are you ready to be on the front lines in the fight for immigrant rights? Join our staff team at NIJC. Open positions include: communications coordinator, executive coordinator, paralegal, and internships. View open jobs at NIJC.

Save the Date: Giving Tuesday is November 29

Have you been asking yourself lately what you can do to help and how you can give back? Giving Tuesday is the perfect opportunity. Giving Tuesday is a global day of giving that was created five years ago and has become a holiday season tradition on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. This year, NIJC’s Giving Tuesday goal is to raise enough to connect 80 immigrant children with lawyers. Save the date for Giving Tuesday on November 29!

Announcing the Website & Campaign

Just yesterday, I sent a message about the important work that lies ahead for us. Many of you responded positively, asking how you can get involved. We listened and we have important news to share with you.

We are excited to announce the newly launched campaign website titled

This website, like, and before, will serve as a hub of organizing information for visitors to get informed, download resources, ask questions, and, most importantly, to learn how to get involved locally, statewide, and nationally in campaigns of resistance against Trump’s policies and ideology of hatred, bigotry, xenophobia and racism. The website/campaign will continue to develop and grow rapidly in the coming days and weeks. Please follow us for updates.

We really need your support right now to donate to strengthen our capacity to do the on-the-ground organizing work.

CAN YOU DONATE TODAY to help organize our communities? – Against Hate, Bigotry, Xenophobia and Racism!


alto trump
This is a national effort and we’re prepared to exert all of our capacity, with you, to defeat hatred and Trump’s extremist policies.

Here is a description of the campaign’s mission statement:

Our communities are under attack. The President-elect is an openly racist, nativist demagogue who climbed to victory by stoking fear and hatred of immigrants. This is not the first time we have confronted forces like this. We have faced down Minutemen and vigilantes; dismantled state laws designed to make our lives so miserable we would “self-deport;” defeated racist sheriffs; and disarmed ICE’s deportation dragnet. But the scale and power of challenge we now face cannot be underestimated. We can meet it only if we match the fear that confronts us with the courage we have learned from our struggles, only if we meet the hate that would destroy us with the love that ties us to our families and communities, and—most importantly—only if we stand together, and organize.

Thanks for your solidarity and we’ll see you online and on the ground everywhere, across the country.

In Solidarity,

Pablo Alvarado
National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON)

NIJC’s invitation: LGBT asylum case in the Courts

I am writing to invite you to join NIJC at Jones Day (77 W. Wacker), to watch live oral arguments in Bringas Rodriguez v. Lynch before an en banc Ninth Circuit panel. The arguments are scheduled for 12:00 p.m. Chicago time on Wednesday, September 7. Jones Day has graciously agreed to host us and will provide lunch.

Bringas-Rodriguez involves a gay, HIV positive man from Mexico, and the case presents issues regarding the country conditions in Mexico and the proper process for assessing asylum claims when an individual has been harmed by private actors. NIJC became deeply involved in writing and coordinating amicus briefs in support of rehearing, because the panel decision was so disastrous for these claims. We believe that Bringas-Rodriguez is the first ever LGBT asylum case to be heard en banc. Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean of the University of California, Irvine School of Law, will argue the case for Petitioner. The en banc panel includes Judges Thomas, O’Scannlain, Silverman, Wardlaw, W. Fletcher, Clifton, Bea, M. Smith, Christen, Owens, and Friedland. The rehearing briefs (if you’re curious) are here.

After the argument concludes, we will have a brief discussion of the oral argument itself, and related issues.

Seating is limited, so please rsvp by this Friday, September 2 with Tarrajna Walsh at We anticipate the arguments will start promptly at 12:00 p.m. so please arrive no later than 11:45. The arguments will be 30 minutes per side, and should conclude around 1:00 p.m. Our brief discussion will conclude no later than 1:30 p.m.