Office of New Americans Newsletter

CITY OF CHICAGO ALONG WITH 18 STATES, 4 COUNTIES AND 10 CITIES SUBMIT OFFICIAL COMMENT REJECTING TRUMP ADMINISTRATION’S DECISION TO ADD CITIZENSHIP QUESTION ON 2020 CENSUS

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and a bipartisan coalition of 18 states plus the District of Columbia, nine cities, four counties and the U.S. Conference of Mayors submitted a formal comment today regarding the upcoming Cen­sus urging the Census Bureau to reconsider its decision, in a reversal of longstanding Bureau practice, to include an unnecessary citizenship question that will impair the Bureau’s essential function of counting all people in the 2020 Census.

Our coalition, which together represents tens of millions of residents throughout the country, is imploring the Census Bureau to reconsider their decision to include this harmful and completely unnecessary citizenship question,” said Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein.  “Last year, Colum­bus received almost $100 million in federal funding for grant programs that rely on population data collected in the census. With a large and growing immigrant community, the possibility of losing those dollars is a very real threat and would directly impact our residents lives.”

“The federal government should encourage every person living in our country to participate in the Census instead of putting up barriers that intimidate people from being counted,” Attorney General Lisa Madigan said. “I am filing my objection today and am pursuing litigation against the federal government to ensure that immigrants in Illinois are represented fairly and accurately.”

The Trump Administration’s decision to add a citizenship question reverses decades of past prac­tice.  In 1980, the Census Bureau rejected the addition of a citizenship question, concluding that “[a]ny effort to ascertain citizenship will inevitably jeopardize the overall accuracy of the popula­tion count. Obtaining the cooperation of a suspicious and fearful population would be impossible if the group being counted perceived any possibility of the information being used against them. Questions as to citizenship are particularly sensitive in minority communities and would inevitably trigger hostility, resentment, and refusal to cooperate.”

Adding the citizenship question to the 2020 Census is the latest effort by the Trump Administra­tion to suppress response rates by members of minority and immigrant communities.  In February, Mayor Emanuel sent a letter to Commerce Secretary Ross outlining concerns regarding the Ad­ministration’s lack of outreach and intentional efforts to limit participation.

SAFETY PLANNING GUIDE FOR PARENTS WHO ARE UNDOCUMENTED

Loyola University Law School, in collaboration with other law schools and community agencies has  created a Safety Planning Guide for Parents in Illinois who are Undocumented. This guide assists with instructions on helping children plan in case of detention or deportation.

There is now both a Spanish version of the Guide. Both the English and Spanish versions (attached) and the urls at which you can find them:

Spanish version – www.luc.edu/law/guiadeinmigracionhttp://www.luc.edu/law/ guiadeinmigracion

English version – www.luc.edu/law/immigrationguide<http://www.luc.edu/law/immigrationguide

Please distribute as widely as you can.  To the extent possible, we’d appreciate hearing from you on how the Guide is being distributed and any other feedback.

And if you have any updates that should be made to the Guide over time, please let me know at aweinbe@luc.edu.  Lauren Schroeder, who spearheaded this effort, moved on to the Domestic Violence Legal Clinic as a Staff Attorney when her post-graduate fellowship ended this summer at the ChildLaw Policy Institute.

Thanks so much.  And please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Anita Weinberg

Clinical Professor and Director, ChildLaw Policy Institute Director, Curt and Linda Rodin Center for Social Justice Loyola University Chicago School of Law

aweinbe@luc.edu

EXHIBITON ON THE GLOBAL REFUGEE CRISIS – SEPTEMBER 23RD – 30TH

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is coming to Chicago’s Richard J. Daley Center with Forced From Home, an interactive exhibition on the global refugee crisis from September 23rd  – 30th, 2018! Open daily to the public Mon-Fri from 4pm-8pm and Sat-Sun from 10am-6pm.

CHICAGO COMMISSION ON HUMAN RELATIONS– HIRING!!
HUMAN RELATIONS SPECIALIST

The Chicago Commission on Human Relations is looking for qualified candidates to apply for the position of Human Relations Specialist II. The position is part of the department’s Inter-Group Relations Unit which mediates community conflicts, conducts human relations work­shops, and assists victims of hate crimes. The job description is attached.

Interested applicants can apply online at https://chicago.taleo.net/careersection/100/ jobsearch.ftl?lang=en  from August 14 -August 28, 2018.

Applicants fluent in Polish, Arabic, Hindi, and Mandarin are encouraged to apply. The starting salary for the position is approximately $55,000.  All questions and inquiries of any nature con­cerning this position must be directed to the City of Chicago Department of Human Resources,312-744-4976.

ART WORKS PANEL: THE STATE OF DEPORTATION

ART WORKS Projects is pleased to invite you to a panel discussion featuring Chicago-based leaders who advocate for immigrants at the local and national level. The panelists will address the complexities of immigration policy in the U.S. while considering the impact of deportation on families and their communities.

Panelists: 
Royal Berg – Immigration Attorney
Oscar Chacón – Executive Director, Alianza Americas
Seemi Choudry – Director, Mayor’s Office of New Americans
Evelyn Venegas – Family Support Network Coordinator, ICIRR

This event is free and open to the public. 

This ART WORKS Projects event is presented in tandem with “Deported: An American Divi­sion” by Emerging Lens photographer Rachel Woolf. This project began in late July 2017 when Woolf met Lourdes Salazar Bautista days before her deportation hearing in Detroit. Bautista had been living in Ann Arbor, Michigan for the past 20 years along with her children Pamela (19), Bryan (14), and Lourdes (16) who were all born in the United States. Though the family was hopeful that Bautista would be granted permission to stay in the U.S., it was determined at her hearing that she would be deported. Bautista, along with her two younger children, left for Mexi­co soon after the hearing in August 2017.

270 BIPARTISAN ELECTED OFFICIALS URGE PRESIDENT TRUMP TO ADMIT AT LEAST 75,000 REFUGEES NEXT YEAR

Every day, 44,000 people are displaced from their homes because of violence, persecution, or war. The United Nations Refugee Agency reports that over 68.5 million people are forcibly displaced worldwide, 25.4 million of whom are registered as refugees. More than half of those registered are children. Despite this ongoing crisis, last year the United States set its lowest ever resettlement goal of 45,000 refugees, and to date, has only resettled 18,214 refugees this fiscal year. This is one of the lowest numbers of refugees the U.S. has resettled in the history of the program, at the time of the greatest need. We can do so much more.

Refugees bring immense value to our communities. Refugees have reinvigorated our econo­mies, brought innovation to our towns, and made our communities stronger through their con­tributions to our public life and cultural institutions. They are students, business owners, dedi­cated employees, customers, elected officials, and community leaders.

We are better and stronger because of them. We encourage you to visit our communities and hear directly from our constituents, including refugees themselves, about what this life-saving program has brought to our country.

MAYOR EMANUEL ANNOUNCES NEW EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION SITE IN WEST RIDGE

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Alderman Patrick O’Connor today joined the Department of Family and Support Services and Chicago Public Schools to announce a new early education center at Passages Elementary School – the fourth center to be announced this year. The centers provide quality early learning services, just as new data from CPS underscores the benefits of ramping up free pre-k for all the city’s 4-year-olds.

“For decades Chicago children started school when they were six and had the shortest day and the shortest school year of any group of children in the country. With the gains we’ve made and by expanding free pre-k for all, they’ll now be in class at 4 and have nearly four more years of classroom time by the time they graduate,” said Mayor Emanuel. “This newest data reinforces why we’re making these investments, which are fundamentally about giving every child from every neighborhood their best chance to succeed.

The new early education center at Passages Elementary School in the West Ridge community will serve approximately 100 children in the 2018-19 school year, and scale up to 160 children starting in the 2019 – 200 school year. Facilities and programs will also be developed to support the whole family, including a computer lab, and programming for Adult ESL, Workforce De­velopment and Family Behavioral Health. The center will be run in conjunction with the K-8 charter school and Asian Human Services. Passages Elementary School is a global school open to everyone, with a focus on the needs of immigrant and refugee students.

“The early education center at Passages Elementary School will help prepare students with the quality education they need to launch a successful academic career,” said Alderman O’Connor, 40th Ward. “Passages Elementary School helps students get the great start they all deserve, and with this investment from the city they can start laying this foundation even earlier.”

CHICAGO CITY KEY ANOUNCES  PRESCRIPTION DISCOUNTS TO BE INCLUDED ON THE CITY KEY

On Wedenesday, July 18, at Del Kar Pharmacy in North Lawndale, the Mayor  announced the new #ChicagoRxCard, which will help Chicagoans save money on prescription drugs and get more transparency on drug pricing.. “Making prescription medicine affordable for Chicagoans is the ultimate goal for the #ChicagoRxCard” said the Mayor.

The CityKey Card is an optional, officially recognized government-issued  identification card that you can use to access a range of public and private services.  It is designed to reduce barriers to those who have difficulty accessing traditional government-issued
identification, such as undocumented immigrants, youth, the homeless, transgender residents, domestic violence survivors, and those recently released from incarceration.

Learn More About the ChicagoRxCard

Click Here to Learn More About Applying for Your Own

Trump Regulations Rig Immigration System for the Wealthy, Put Millions of Families at Risk

Press reports suggest that the Trump administration may soon act unilaterally to put forward proposals that will restrict access to immigration for applicants with incomes under $60,000. For example, various leaked proposals would put immigrants at risk if they — or potentially their families, including children born in the United States — get health care under Medicaid or Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act) or if they get help under the Earned Income Tax Credit. Olivia Golden said “compromising a child’s ability to thrive is not only immoral, it’s deeply damaging to the future of our nation” during a press call this week, where advocates decried the leaked proposals.

Read full press release here

Campaign for a Welcoming Illinois Wins Prestigious Award!

On Thursday, April 5, the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) and our campaign partners won the prestigious Power of Community Awards as part of the 2018 Chicago Neighborhood Development Awards.

The award recognized our collective success as part of the Campaign for a Welcoming Illinois in organizing to draft and pass the Illinois TRUST Act. The campaign is co-convened by ICIRR, Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago, and PASO (West Suburban Action Project), engaging over 80 community, labor and policy organizations throughout Illinois. As a result of this victory, no law enforcement agency in Illinois can detain any individuals or turn them over to ICE if ICE does not have a warrant signed by a judge. Our work has once again put Illinois in the forefront as having one of the strongest and most expansive statewide protections against deportation in the country.

Thousands of people took part in advocacy in Springfield, rallies in Schaumburgpostcard dropoffs at the Thompson Center, in-district meetings with elected officials across the state, call-in efforts to elected officials in Springfield and more!

This award belongs to all of our partners, and we want to thank and congratulate you for this amazing accomplishment.


Our work is not done! We continue to fight through the Campaign for a Welcoming Illinois to make Illinois the most welcoming state in the country.

Here are three things you can do to help support this work.

    1. Donate! Victories like these take large investment in resources to make them happen. This work can only continue if the resources are available for us to be successful. Please consider making a donation to ensure this critical work can continue. Donate atwww.icirr.org/donate
    2. “Slip” in support of two key bills: 
      1. Support the Safe Zones Act (SB 35) :This bill would create policies for courthouses, schools, and medical facilities to limit their cooperation with ICE agents. Send in a witness slip by 3pm CST on Tuesday here: http://my.ilga.gov/WitnessSlip/Create/98878?committeeHearingId=15758&LegislationId=98878&LegislationDocumentId=141865
      2. Support the No Registry Act: This bill would bar state and local government agencies from participating in any program that would single out ethnic and religious minorities.  Send in a witness slip by 2pm CST on Wednesday here:http://my.ilga.gov/WitnessSlip/Create/111560?committeeHearingId=15772&LegislationId=111560&LegislationDocumentId=140921

How to slip:

  1. Fill out the form with your information. (Anyone filling out a slip individually can put ICIRR in section II)
  2. Choose  “proponent” in section III
  3. Choose “record of appearance only” in section IV
  4. Click the box at the bottom agreeing to the terms
  5. click the button “create slip”

Thank you for your support!ICIRR
http://icirr.nationbuilder.com/

HB4165 Sign-On Social Media

Thank you for lending your organization’s voice and support to HB4165, the Do No Harm Healthcare Act. We did a social media push around this effort this morning and I am including the posts if you would like to amplify your organization’s support.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pg/ProtectOurCareIL/posts/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ProtectILCare/status/983362014889365504

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. We expect greater movement around this bill within the next two weeks and will keep you abreast of updates and further social media pushes as the timeline moves along.

In Solidarity,

Protect Our Care Illinois (POCIL)

Preparing for Potential ICE Activity in Chicago and Illinois

In light of the recent raids that happened in Oakland, CA, we want to make sure that the community is prepared in case ICE tries to conduct similar operations in the Chicago area and Illinois. 

While we do not want to create panic in our communities, we want to make sure we are all informed and prepared.

ICIRR’s toolkit available in English and Spanish contains information and tools that should help you and your organization respond if ICE conducts raids in your community.

WHAT WE KNOW

  • Last week ICE arrested nearly 200 people in and around Oakland. The current administration has been vocal about targeting “sanctuary cities” such as Chicago.
  • ICE is not only picking up people with prior criminal convictions or with final removal orders issued by an immigration judge . Throughout these operations, ICE has been notorious for picking up people in “collateral” arrests if there is a reason to believe people are in the US without legal status.

WHAT WE DO NOT KNOW:

  • We do not know  which specific areas DHS plans to target or the number of immigrants to be targeted in these operations. We do not have confirmed information of any specific ICE activity, including raids, workplace audits or other ICE enforcement activity. 
  • It is important to be prepared for all scenarios

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS! WHAT TO DO IF ICE APPEARS AT YOUR WORKPLACE: