Home » Blog » Winter Updates for Immigration

Winter Updates for Immigration

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 your local federal legislators and urge them to support the BRIDGE Act. If you are interested in learning more about the future of DACA or would like to participate in an information workshop on how to support undocumented youth and young adults, please contact Julián Lazalde.

Lastly, the Forum continues to engage state legislators to pass the Student ACCESS bill (SB2196), which would provide opportunities for undocumented immigrants to compete for scholarships and tuition assistance at public universities/colleges. The Forum is hopeful the bill will eventually be voted on and subsequently passed by the state House of Representatives. Please click here for more information on the Student ACCESS bill and for more information on how to support the bill contact the Forum’s Assistant Director, Martin Torres.   

Leadership Academy Update

The 2016 Multicultural Leadership Academy began with a one-day session held at the Field Museum on September 10th. Following the September 10th session, the first 3-day retreat was held from September 29 – October 1. The exceptional group of 23 Latino and African American leaders began working to increase their understanding of how racial and ethnic groups an collaborate to transform their communities through social action. The participants heard from an array of community and political stakeholders such as Ronne Hartfield, Jackie Grimshaw, Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, and Aaron Freeman. The first retreat was a great success as one participant noted, “Great job on creating a foundation of trust through leadership mentors & pushing us to critically analyze our communities and have open, authentic conversations.”

Currently, the participants have started affinity groups to identify a policy or social issue that its members want to address. The affinity groups have begun to meet regularly to research their topics and develop an action plan that they are committed to implementing in 2017. Each group will be supported through this process by a Ph.D. candidate in anthropology who is an expert at identifying community assets , in partnership with leadership staff from the Field Museum. This is the first time the Forum has partnered with the Field Museum.

The next scheduled retreat for the Academy participants is scheduled to take place from February 16-18, 2017. 

The Forum would like to thank the sponsors who have made this endeavor possible: Allstate Foundation, American Express, The Chicago Community Trust, David and Reva Logan Foundation, the Joyce Foundation and the McCormick Foundation. For more information on the Multicultural Leadership Academy please contact Jessi Perez.

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