On May 30th, 2017, the Spanish Community Center will join the Southwest Suburban Immigrant Project, Illinois Coalition of Immigrant and Refugee Rights, and many other community advocates on a March to Springfield where we will meet with representatives to urge our representatives to pass a fair budget for the people of Illinois.
In the news:
Stay informed about the state grants that make our work possible and that are currently at risk:
The Immigrant Services Line Item helps Illinois’ immigrants apply to become U.S. citizens, provide health and nutrition outreach/access to low-income immigrants, helps refugees start new lives in Illinois, and support the integration of vulnerable members of immigrant communities.
Helping immigrants achieve citizenship directly affects the state economy as those who attain citizenship increase their earnings by an average of $7,000. ICIRR has been instrumental in providing 530,000 immigrants with information for citizenship and assisted 96,445 to fill out forms.
Cutting funding for immigrant integration services will increase the state’s unemployment rate as staff will have to be laid off and many immigrants will go without the valuable services offered by ICIRR and partner organizations.
The New Americans Initiative (NAI) is a coordinated Citizenship Education/ Mobilization Campaign. The NAI distributes grants to community-based organizations that help immigrants naturalize through outreach, citizenship preparation classes, and legal services. The NAI is intended to establish a trusting relationship between community-based organizations and legal permanent residents to successfully pursue citizenship and become engaged in civic life in the state of Illinois.
It is a unique model that offers many state, community, health, employment training and educational services in one location. The Welcoming Center staff is bilingual English/Spanish and has access to multilingual interpreters and translators.
At the Welcoming Center you will have DIRECT access to and information about health, social, educational, employment,rehabilitation and homeownership services, including:
■ Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
■ All Kids Health Insurance
■ Family Care
■ Unemployment Insurance
■ Employment Counseling
■ Small Business Center
■ Specialized Assessment for Rehabilitation Services
■ Housing and Financial Literacy
■ Predatory Lending
■ Health and Nutrition
■ Mental Health Issues
■ Adolescent Development
■ Parenting Skills
■ Substance and Domestic Abuse
Illinois Trust Act
The TRUST Act will help keep federal immigration enforcement separate from local law enforcement will enact safe zones in communities.
It will help immigrant crime victims seek legal assistance.
It will prevent Illinois from participating in any sort of discriminatory registry.
As the federal government ramps up immigration enforcement, it has increasingly entangled state and local law enforcement agencies. ICE received information from police and sheriff’s departments through shared databases and data-sharing mechanisms like the controversial “Secure Communities” program. The Trump Administration is also trying to enlist law police through such programs as 287(g) that deputize officers to carry on immigration enforcement work, and through requests to participate in or coordinate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) operations.
The Illinois TRUST Act builds on policies developed in other communities to set reasonable, constitutional limits on local police interaction with ICE enforcement, and foster trust between local police and immigrant communities. This legislation would
➢ Bar law enforcement agencies in Illinois from complying with any ICE detainers or warrants that are not supported by a court-issued warrant
➢ Limit arrests based solely on immigration-related information included in federal databases
➢ Bar 287(g) agreements to deputize local police to execute immigration enforcement and limit other cooperation and information sharing with immigration enforcement (without a court issued criminal warrant)
➢ Bar the use of private prisons to house immigration detainees
➢ Forbid use of immigration-related threats or verbal abuse by law enforcement agents
➢ Set deadlines and standards for law enforcement agencies to respond to requests for
certifications needed to process U visa applications
➢ Establish an Illinois TRUST Act Compliance Board to train law enforcement agencies regarding this law and identify and research further issues regarding the impact of detainers
➢ Provide a private right of action for anyone to sue any agency that violates this Act
➢ Amend the Illinois Criminal Procedure Code to clarify provisions that probation officers and judges have used to ask about immigration status
➢ Allow certain individuals (including immigrants) to reopen prior criminal cases based on inadequate counsel or successful completion of probation. For immigrants, this provision could help them avoid deportation.