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June has been designated as Immigrant Heritage Month, an initiative that aims to bring people together to celebrate the important contributions of immigrants across the nation. It is also an opportunity to encourage people to explore their heritage and celebrate their unique history. Although every immigrant’s story is different, one important virtue is present in all of them: courage. It takes a lot of courage to be a stranger in a foreign land and despite the many challenges that immigrants face, such as language barriers and in many instances discrimination, they manage to thrive.

Immigration is an integral piece of every individual’s life mosaic. Unfortunately, as time passes generations can forget to look back at the amazing stories that... Continue Reading

By Martin Torres

We’ve gone more than 722 consecutive days without a state budget, which negatively impacts Illinois children, families, business-owners and taxpayers.  This is the longest Illinois, and perhaps any state in the nation, has ever gone without a comprehensive annual budget. 

The consequences of this unprecedented failure are morally repulsive and economically irresponsible and the effects on Latinos, African-American and low-income white families have been devastating. For example, Mujeres Latinas en Acción, a Forum Acuerdo member, is just one of the many social services providers struggling to maintain services because of this budget impasse. The organization has been forced to lay off staff, furlough staff and rely on a second line of credit for day-to-day expenditures as a... Continue Reading

Editor’s Note: June is Immigrant Heritage Month and the Forum is highlighting this guest blog to inform and empower immigrants in Illinois to help them know their rights. 

By Angel Castillo

In Donald Trump’s America, people live in fear every day. When they kiss their kids good-bye in the morning before they to go to work, they are scared.  They know that once they walk out that door, they might not see their family again. With all the fear and uncertainty, we feel compelled to do something about it.  We are using music and technology to communicate important information for immigrants to know: You have rights. 

I was born... Continue Reading

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requires that the state rates schools according to a variety of indicators. Yet, the Education Team’s latest research, based on interactions with various parent groups from Chicago Public Schools, found that Latino and Immigrant parents judge school quality and make decisions for their children based on different factors such as bilingual programming.

Read more about these findings in the Forum’s latest PODER (POlicy DEvelopments and Research), available in both English and Spanish: 

The Every Student Succeeds Act and Immigrant Parent Perspectives

La Ley Cada Estudiante Triunfa y La Perspectiva de los Padres 

Caption: Education and Policy Research Manager Karen Garibay-Mulattieri speaks... Continue Reading

The Forum continues its effort to advance the Student ACCESS bill, which would allow undocumented students to apply for scholarships in four-year, public universities in Illinois.

In addition the Forum continues its support of the TRUST Act and encourages you to support this legislation, which seeks to protect and build trust between law enforcement agencies and immigrant communities by limiting local police involvement in federal immigration enforcement.

Please contact Governor Rauner and request that he sign the TRUST Act

Finally, the Civic Engagement team published a SOL (Statistics on Latinos) that dispels some of the pervasive myths about immigrants in the United States.

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