Posts About Immigration Reform & Policy

By Manny Gonzales

Illinois Lt. Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti, the first Latina to occupy the office in the state and nation, made the proud declaration in defense of immigrants that “Illinois is a welcoming state para todos!”

Sanguinetti was just one of the esteemed elected leaders from Illinois participating in the 6th Annual Latino Unity Day on May 10 at the state capital. The Illinois Latino Agenda, a Forum initiative, hosted the recent rally of Latino organizations, which featured a luncheon with speeches by Sanguinetti, who touched on important issues involving education and immigration, and other legislators from the Illinois Latino Legislative Caucus.

Throughout the day, advocates promoted various pieces of... Continue Reading

Posted In: Education, Families & Communities, Immigration Reform & Policy, Leadership

The Latino Policy Forum condemns President Trump’s attacks on vulnerable immigrant communities in Illinois and across the nation through his executive orders to extend the southern border wall, threats of funding cuts to cities and counties that grant sanctuary to undocumented immigrants and the ban on travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries. Such shortsighted executive actions have already endangered people and needlessly ripped families apart.  

“While not unexpected, given the anti-immigrant rhetoric employed by the President during his campaign, this decision is still a devastating blow for the millions of immigrants and their loved ones,” said Sylvia Puente, Executive Director of the Forum. “We stand strong with our sisters and brothers in the immigrant and Muslim communities. The Forum is... Continue Reading

Posted In: Immigration Reform & Policy

The Forum advocated for Chicago’s “Welcoming Cities Ordinance,” intended to strengthen protections for undocumented immigrants from harassment by city employees, particularly police. The Forum will continue to work with all organizations interested in ensuring that immigrants in Illinois, regardless of their country of origin are recognized as valuable and contributing members of society with equal access to equity and prosperity.

In addition, Forum leaders were part of numerous discussions with lawmakers at the local and federal level to support the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, including a recent meeting with U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, who has co-authored the BRIDGE Act, legislation intended to save DACA. The Forum asks Latinos in Illinois to contact... Continue Reading

Posted In: Immigration, Immigration Reform & Policy, Immigrant Integration

By Manuel Gonzales

We applaud Senator Dick Durbin for continuing to exercise his leadership on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

The Latino Policy Forum has joined immigration reform advocates from across Illinois to stand in support of Senator Durbin and his efforts to save DACA from any efforts to rescind its protection of hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants from deportation.

DACA was enacted by executive order by President Obama in June 2012, which grants a temporary, but renewable reprieve from deportation, along with work a authorization permit and the possibility to travel internationally to young adult immigrants. Approximately 744,000 people have received DACA protection nationally - 40,000 in... Continue Reading

Posted In: Immigration Reform & Policy

By Diana Mendoza Scanlan

It’s been a bruising year for Latinos nationwide, following a contentious presidential election that saw immigrants cast as villains. The Forum has heard from many in the community who feel disenfranchised by the election’s results. In these trying times, now more than ever your support is critical to the sustainability of Latinos in Illinois and across the nation.

On this Giving Tuesday, DONATE to help the Forum continue its work convening local, state and national leaders to take proactive steps that move Latinos forward by focusing on the issues that matter: A better future in education, preserving immigrants’ rights, fair housing and strengthening... Continue Reading

Posted In: Education, Parent Engagement, Housing, Families & Communities, Foreclosure, Affordable Housing, Immigration, Immigration Reform & Policy, Leadership, Strengthening Leadership

While cities across the nation are reaffirming their commitment to immigrant residents by publicly declaring their intent to remain sanctuary cities, the state of Illinois is on the cusp of passing legislation that will make college more affordable for undocumented students! 

Student ACCESS Bill

House members are expected to vote on the Student ACESS Bill, SB2196, on Wednesday.  The bill would make Illinois the sixth state in the nation to allow four-year public universities to provide institutional aid to undocumented students who meet the criteria for in-state tuition.

More than 2,000 Illinoisans have already signed the petition calling on their House member and Governor Rauner to support the bill!

Sign up RIGHT... Continue Reading

Posted In: Immigration Reform & Policy

Immigration has consistently ranked as one of the most important issues to likely voters throughout the 2016 presidential election cycle. Throughout the primaries and into the general election, candidates from the major parties have focused their immigration policies and rhetoric on the estimated 11-12 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States; what to do about them and subsequent undocumented immigrants who may arrive in the future.

Unfortunately, the electorate has not received a clear and accurate immigration policy discussion that we need from our candidates. Instead, the topic of immigration and undocumented immigrants has been hijacked by fearmongering, unfounded speculation, demonization, and misinformation. Immigrants from Latin America, especially... Continue Reading

Posted In: Immigration, Immigration Reform & Policy

Fall 2016 Newsletter

  ·  Sylvia Puente

Dear Friends,

As we all know, our beautiful state of Illinois is struggling and our nation is locked in a presidential debate that I believe will define the soul of our increasingly diverse, pluralistic society.  On the days, when I ask what else can  the Forum do? 

I start with going back to the facts, leveraging our electoral power, and strengthening the web of communication and relationships to find strategies and solutions. This letter provides the facts around the myths that are being perpetuated on immigration by a leading presidential candidate, and while the Forum is a non-partisan organization, we encourage you to VOTE.  Election Day... Continue Reading

Posted In: Education, Infant & Toddler Services , K-3, Parent Engagement, Preschool, Families & Communities, Housing, Foreclosure, Housing Education, Affordable Housing, Homelessness, Immigration, Immigration Reform & Policy, Immigrant Integration, Leadership, Strengthening Leadership, Representation in Government, State Investment, Access & Resources, Educators

By Virginia Martinez, Attorney, Volunteer and Longtime Supporter of the Latino Policy Forum

I recently volunteered with the CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project at the South Texas Family Residential Center (STFRC) in Dilley, Texas. CARA provides much needed services and representation to women, and their children, who are seeking asylum in the United States. CARA volunteers serve weeklong commitments to provide services to those being detained and awaiting their first interview with an asylum officer.

It was an eye-opening, tiring and heartbreaking experience. The federal government opened STFRC in 2014 in response to a surge in asylum seekers (especially women and children) fleeing extremely violent situations in Honduras, El... Continue Reading

Posted In: Immigration, Immigration Reform & Policy, Immigrant Integration, Leadership

This op-ed was originally published in Crain's Chicago Business. See full article here

After Donald Trump's much touted immigration speech last month—the one many anticipated would signal a softening of his immigration stances in order to attract Latino voters—I was left even more puzzled than before about his true intentions. 

Trump's rhetoric was softened from prior to his visit to Mexico, but the underly
ing racism was still dripping from his speech. As his followers chanted their support, the Republican nominee went down a list of victims of violent crimes perpetrated by undocumented immigrants from south of our border. While these were terrible crimes, he chose not... Continue Reading

Posted In: Immigration, Immigration Reform & Policy, Immigrant Integration, Leadership
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