Action Alert! Call Governor Rauner and Chicago Aldermen!

We made history last month!

We are energized by the incredible work of the grassroots leaders who helped encourage the General Assembly of Illinois to pass the TRUST Act (SB-31) this spring! This is a huge victory for immigrants in Illinois. Read ICIRR’s Statement here!

We’re not done yet. We need to let Gov. Rauner know that we want to make the TRUST Act law! This month, we invite you to join our “Communities on the Line” Call-In Campaign to encourage Governor Rauner to sign the TRUST Act immediately!

Call Gov Rauner’s Springfield (217-782-0244) and Chicago (312-814-2121) office!

2) Say: “Hello, my name is ____. I am an Illinois resident I am calling to ask that Governor Rauner to sign the Illinois TRUST Act, SB-31. This will protect our 4th amendment rights, and will make me, my family and people I care about more secure in Illinois. Can you pass this message along to the Governor? Thank you.”

3) Report your call here!

Want to join our TRUST Act social media campaign? Click here for more info!

Additionally, last week we joined a coalition of organizations at a powerful press conference at City Hall, urging City Council to amend Chicago’s Welcoming City Ordinance.

This week, take action in 2 ways for Welcoming Cities!

Find your Alderman here. Record your call here!

Join our Rally in defense of amendments to the Welcoming City Ordinance at Daley Plaza this Thursday at 11am, that would strengthen the policy and make sure that no immigrants are excluded from protections. Click here to RSVP!

Thank you for all that you do!

VICTORY: Muslim ban struck down again!

Yesterday, President Trump’s Muslim and refugee ban was struck down in court again.

Glenn speaks in front of a court houseIn the legal challenge that NQAPIA joined, the U.S Court of Appeals for the 9thCircuit determined that Trump’s Muslim and refugee ban is illegal. The court upheld a lower court’s decision in Hawaii to block Trump’s revised executive order barring individuals from six Muslim-majority countries and refugees from entering the United States.

NQAPIA had filed an amicus (“friend of the court”) brief showing how the anti-Muslim and anti-refugee ban has a direct impact on the lives of LGBTQ people and tears our families apart. Brief is here:

Increased hate violence since the President took office has targeted Muslims, Arabs, and South Asians. The tragic shootings in Kansas and Washington State, arson attacks and vandalism of mosques, and anti-Muslim rallies in 30 cities over the weekend demonstrate the hate this administration has cultivated.

And as LGBT people who are commemorating the tragic shooting at Pulse nightclub a year ago, we know that we must stand up and stand together.

You’ve stood by us before, and we won. Will you contribute whatever you can today to help us continue fighting back against Trump’s hateful and regressive policies?

We will continue to stand with our friends at Immigration Equality, NYC Gay & Lesbian Anti-Violence Project, and Skadden Arp who worked so hard on the brief. Together with our partners and supporters like you, we will fight back against Trump’s unjust and xenophobic policies.

Thank you for standing up for equality and justice for all,


Glenn D. Magpantay

Illinois TRUST Act Passes the Senate: Victory for Immigrants, Refugees and Domestic Violence Survivors

May 4, 2017


Sophie Vodvarka, Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights,, 773-294-4909
Tara Tidwell Cullen, National Immigrant Justice Center: (312) 833-2967,
Brandon Lee, Asian Americans Advancing Justice,, 773-259-5288


As public support grows, Senate victory hoped to carry over into House of Representatives

In an important victory for a diverse coalition of communities, the Illinois Senate passed the TRUST Act with a vote of 31 to 21. As Illinois and other governments across the country seek to protect their residents from federal anti-immigrant policies that are terrorizing communities and separating families, members of the Campaign for a Welcoming Illinois applaud Senators who understood the dire need to enact state-level safeguards in Illinois.

The TRUST Act (SB-31) creates a bright line between local police and federal immigration agents, and sends a message to Illinois’ immigrant residents that seeking police assistance will not result in their deportation.

“If someone is going to be detained in Illinois it should be because an actual crime has occurred, not because of how they look, what they believe or what paperwork they may or may not have. This proposal reinforces the message that our immigrant neighbors are in fact part of our community. It is my hope that this legislation will enhance interaction between the immigrant community and state and local police to improve safety and the quality of life for all Illinoisans,” said Illinois Senate President John J. Cullerton, sponsor of the TRUST Act.

Representatives Lisa Hernandez (D-24) and Emanuel Chris Welch (D-7) plan to co-sponsor the TRUST Act as it moves from the Senate to the House next week.

“At a time when many of our neighbors feel under siege because of federal policies that seek to turn our communities against one another, and when local businesses are struggling because their customers are staying home rather than risk an encounter with police that might result in deportation, it is incumbent on Illinois’ elected leaders to do whatever we can to show our communities we have their backs, and we will do whatever it takes to ensure their safety,” said Rep. Hernandez. “I take this responsibility personally, and because of that I will fight to help pass the TRUST Act this month.”

“The TRUST Act is a concrete way to show the people in my district and across Illinois that we want to be a welcoming state,” said Rep. Welch. “I’m confident that my fellow Representatives will see the need for protective legislation for immigrants and refugees amid an uncertain political climate. The TRUST Act is the most timely and important safeguard Illinois can enact to help protect our communities against a national agenda of xenophobia and racism.”

The TRUST Act’s main provisions will:

Bar local law enforcement from engaging in immigration enforcement without a court-issued warrant
Assist immigrant crime victims seeking legal protection
Bar federal agents from making arrests in schools and health facilities
Bar local participation in a federal registry based on country of origin or religion
Members of the Campaign for a Welcoming Illinois will continue to have a presence in Springfield throughout the month of May to move the Illinois TRUST Act through the House. Latino Unity Day on May 10 and Asian American Action Day on May 17 will be moments when House members can expect to hear from our communities.

“When immigrants do not have to fear that any interaction with the police may result in their being banished from their homes and families, all of our communities are safer,” said Mary Meg McCarthy, executive director, National Immigrant Justice Center. “We are grateful to Illinois’ leaders who have stood up and spoken out to defend our immigrant neighbors, and to Illinois senators who advanced the TRUST Act. We are hopeful that the Illinois House and Governor Rauner will follow their lead.”

“We are encouraged today to see State Senate members supporting immigrant and refugee communities in Illinois,” said Lawrence Benito, chief executive officer of Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights. “Support for the TRUST Act continues to build. Our members and allies are doing amazing work educating legislators and other stakeholders about the importance of the TRUST Act, and we will continue to organize support in the House to place a bill on Governor Rauner’s desk by the end of May.”

“The TRUST Act will make all communities more secure. This law is personal to me because it means that the safety of my family will be greatly improved, knowing that our local law enforcement will not collaborate with ICE to deport people without a court-issued warrant gives me hope of what can be accomplished in our state during the era of Trump .” Estela Vara, a community leader from P.A.S.O. – West Suburban Action Project, a sponsor organization of the TRUST Act.

“Passing the TRUST Act through the Senate is an incredibly important victory for our community, particularly for those who are victims of domestic violence and sexual assault,” said Neusa Gaytan, Interim Executive Director and Senior VP of Programs of Mujeres Latinas en Accion, a sponsor organization of the TRUST Act. “This can be a life or death situation for many of our clients, with the Trust Act immigrant survivors will be given peace of mind that they can ask for help”

Organizations who have signed on to support the IL TRUST Act include:

Arab American Family Services, Asian Americans Advancing Justice |Chicago, Centro Trabajadores Unidos, Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women’s Network, HANA Center, Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, Latino Policy Forum, Mujeres Latinas En Accion, National Immigrant Justice Center, PASO West Suburban Action Project, Southwest Suburban Immigrant Project, and SEIU HCII.

15 days left!

Dear Friends and Supporters!

There are 15 days until our annual Dream Gala, so please save the date! Our 8th Annual Dream Gala is on Friday, April 21st, 2017! Join us to celebrate the 2017 Dream Scholarship recipients and enjoy a night of live music and performances, dancing, a paddle raise and a silent auction. Help us raise funds in support of undocumented students’ pursuit of higher education.

Purchase Tickets

Tickets are now available to purchase through our Eventbrite! Last day to purchase general admission tickets will be on Wednesday, April 19th, 2017. Should you have any questions, don’t hesitate to send us an email!

We will celebrate our 8th Annual Dream Gala on Friday, April 21, 2017 at The Local 399 Union Hall and will award $10,000 in scholarships to five deserving undocumented students. Our goal is to raise $30,000 and are expecting over 350 of our supporters to attend, additionally more than 1,000 followers of our website and other social media outlets will hear about the event and the generosity of donors, like you!

Whether you’re a new or returning sponsor, your funds will go towards a great cause! We need your help raising funds – if you’re interested in helping us, please download the sponsorship packet and begin the donation process now! You can download the form here.

Action Alert! Sign on to support Chicago Welcoming City ordinances!

Today, we are asking you to sign on to support amending the Chicago Welcoming City ordinance (click here!)

Welcoming city ordinances limit collaboration between local law enforcement and immigration enforcement officers and promote trust within communities.

Chicago’s current ordinance still allows the police to arrest and turn an immigrant over to ICE in certain cases, and still does not prevent city participation in a Muslim registry or other abuses. So we continue to mobilize for more protective ordinances! We are energized from the victory in Oak Park with our member organization PASO – West Suburban Action Project, and we are working hard to pass a new Chicago Welcoming ordinance, with amendments similar to Oak Park’s comprehensive Welcoming Ordinance!

It is more urgent than ever to fight for a comprehensive Welcoming Ordinance in Chicago in light of more cases of questionable ICE activities.

This past Mondaya man was shot inside his home during an interaction with ICE in Belmont Cragin. This kind of incident is unacceptable, and our community is demanding a transparent investigation. Thanks to our member organization, Communities United, for leading this call for accountability during a press conference yesterday.

Get Involved-Stay Involved! 
Save the date for our upcoming community event how to organize to expand sanctuary in Chicago and pass the amendments to strengthen the Welcoming City Ordinance,
Saturday, April 8, 2017 RSVP Here
11:00 – 1:00 pm,
 at SEIU Healthcare, 2229 S. Halsted

Please get in touch with Phoebe if you’re interested in learning more or getting involved. 

News and events for immigrants, refugees, and advocates

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

  1. The Municipal ID Ordinance

The Municipal ID Ordinance was introduced at City Council on March 29, 2017. The Ordinance implements recommendations from Chicago residents, community organizations, and the City’s Municipal ID Working Group, which was launched in July 2015.

  1. Rahm, Preckwinkle to defy Sessions over sanctuary city funding

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said they will stand firm on policies sheltering illegal immigrants even after Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Monday he will cut —or even “claw back”— Justice Department funds flowing to “sanctuary” cities, counties or states.

  1. Know Your Rights Community Event at Hernandez Middle School In Gage Park

Legal staff from NIJC will explain what your rights are, discuss safety planning and answer immigration-related questions from community members.

April 1, 2017, 10am-12:30pm, Hernandez Middle School, 3510 W 55th St, Chicago, Illinois, 60632

  1. IHA Youth Resource Guide for Mental Health

The Illinois Health and Hospital Association’s (IHA) Behavioral Health Advisory Forum recently developed a guide, Illinois Youth Resources for Mental Health, Well-Being & Resilience, with an emphasis on suicide prevention and marginalized youth. For the Spanish language translation of the guide, click here.

Resources include helplines, direct services, and additional supports. Information to support families, parents, caregivers, professionals and the media has also been provided. In addition to serving as a trusted resource, this guide is also intended to support community collaboration and coordination to enhance health and well-being.

  1. Protecting immigrants: How providers can serve immigrants and their families in a challenging climate

Medical providers, hospital administrators and public health advocates from across Chicagoland are invited to a special webinar on April 4, 2017, at 1:30 PM – 3:00 PM CDT.

Learn how you can:

    • Protect the rights of all patients
    • Provide accurate information to immigrants
    • Follow best practices for data collection
    • Respond to government requests for information
    • Support staff and their families
    • Create a welcoming and supportive environment for immigrants and their families

Cities for Action Convening in San Francisco, CA on March 24, 2017

Thank you,

Mayor’s Office of New Americans

Learn more about what we do.