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Action Alert: Calls Needed TODAY, Thursday, June 20

The Senate will continue to vote on amendments to the bipartisan immigration bill S.744 today, Thursday, June 20th. Yesterday your calls make were successful! Paul #1200 which was tabled, which would have hurt refugees and delayed the path to citizenship, and Lee #1208 failed, which would have delayed the path to citizenship.

Please call TODAY and keep calling to defeat negative amendments and win sensible improvements to the bill!


Call

1-866-940-2439


to be connected with your Senators.

You can also call the Capitol Switchboard: (202) 224-3121 or find Senators’ direct lines at

http://www.senate.gov/

Feel free to use this sample script:


“I am from [City, State, Congregation], and I support

immigration reform.


As a person of faith, I urge the Senator to vote


NO


to


amendments sponsored by Senators


Cornyn, Inhofe, Cruz, Rubio,

Fischer, Grassley, Wicker, and Sessions

,

which would expand detention,

significantly delay the path to citizenship, and prevent many of our community

members from accessing the path to citizenship.

 


I also ask the Senator to


SUPPORT Senator Hirono’s

amendment #1403


to help women and families access the visa system, and

Senator Boxer’s #1240


to ensure training for all officials along the

border.”



OPPOSE AMENDMENTS THAT

WOULD EXPAND DETENTION AND DELAY THE PATH TO CITIZENSHIP

 


SENATOR CORNYN’S “RESULTS” AMENDMENT #1251

would mandate unreasonable triggers that could inevitably

delay the path to citizenship and increases enforcement costs without a clear

strategy and purpose. The Department of Homeland Security would have to ensure

100% situational awareness of the border, full operational control, and fully

implement a nationwide employment verification system and biometric entry and

exit system at all air and sea ports of entry. This would cost around $24

billion, mostly for adding 10,000 officer and agents. These are extremely high

costs lacking clear justification. Cornyn may file another amendment to be

considered today that would narrow who is eligible for the path to citizenship.


SENATOR INHOFE’S AMENDMENT #1203

would radically expand immigration detention, including arriving asylum seekers

and longtime lawful permanent residents with misdemeanor offenses, and remove

basic due process. It would extend mandatory detention to individuals with old

convictions who have been free for years and leading productive lives, and

would bar Immigration Judges from ordering the supervision of immigrants on

secure and cost effective alternatives to detention. It would also authorize

the indefinite-or potentially lifelong-detention of broad categories of people,

without meaningful judicial review.


SENATOR CRUZ’S AMENDMENT #1320

would

replace current border provisions with more burdensome requirements and delay

the processing of applications for RPI status until these border security

requirements are met.


OPPOSE AMENDMENTS THATWOULD PREVENT MANY FROM ACCESSING THE PATH TO CITIZENSHIP


SENATOR RUBIO’S AMENDMENT #1225


AND


SENATOR FISCHER’S AMENDMENT #1348

would

require individuals to pass the English and civics exam currently required for

citizenship in order to even receive RPI status (Fischer #1348) or adjust to

LPR status (Rubio #1225). These amendments would restrict many of our community

members from accessing RPI and LPR status, and thus prevent them from

sponsoring their family members for reunification. The standard currently set

in the bill, to allow people in RPI status to adjust to LPR if they

are “satisfactorily pursuing a course of study…to achieve an

understanding of English and knowledge and understanding of the history and

Government of the United States” should remain, so individuals can adjust

to LPR and continue learning English to prepare for the citizenship exam.

 


SENATOR GRASSLEY’S AMEDNMENT #1299

would bar individuals who have been a member of a gang from entering the U.S.

or, for those who are here, pursuing the path to citizenship. It would expand

the term “criminal gang” to mean an ongoing group, club,

organization, or association of 5 or more persons that has as 1 of its primary

purposes 1 or more criminal offense”. This could prevent access to the

path to citizenship for many individuals who were members of gangs in their youth

but who have changed their lives and are contributing members of our

communities.


SENATOR WICKER’S AMENDMENT #1229

would revoke RPI status from someone who

leaves the U.S. for more than 180 days, utilizes Federal means-tested benefits,

uses a fraudulent document, or is no longer eligible for such status. This

could prevent people from traveling to see a sick family member and or from

finding health services for their children.


SENATOR SESSIONS’ AMENDMENT #1334

would change in the definition of “aggravated identity theft” from

the possession of the identification “of another person” to the

possession of identification “that is not his or her own”. This would

eliminate the ability of many immigrants who have used fake documents to get by

from ever applying for RPI status.



SUPPORT AMENDMENTS TO HELP WOMEN, FAMILIES AND BORDER COMMUNITIES


SUPPORT SENATOR HIRONO’S AMENDMENT #1403

to help women and families enter through the merit-based system.

This amendment is sponsored by 12 women senators, including Senator Murkowski

(R-AK).


SUPPORT SENATOR BOXER’S AMENDMENT #1240

This amendment

would require that all National Guard and Coast Guard officials who are

stationed along the border receive the same training programs in immigration

law enforcement, vulnerable populations, and responding to children and victims

of crime. The current bill requires this training for border patrol agents, but

leaves out these National Guard and Coast Guard officials. Everyone patroling

the border should be specifically trained in these issues.

Find Your Senators’

Twitter

names on their websites (

http://www.senate.gov/

) and urge them to support positive

amendments and oppose negative amendments by tweeting @[their twitter name].

Ex:





@


Sen_JoeManchin





As a WV person of faith I

support



#


immigrationreform



.

Please oppose Grassley #1195 which would delay



#


pathtocitizenship






#


cir




 

All amendments filed can be found at

http://1.usa.gov/14im8Gp

. Please note that this list takes time

to update, so it is possible that amendments being considered may not appear at

this link until 24 hours after they have been filed.

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Heads
of denominations reveal joint



declaration
of  resistance



to mass
deportations and gridlock in Congress on Immigration Reform, signed by over 100
faith groups and leaders.

Ministers, Rabbis,
Sisters Religious, and religious leaders gathered and led and interfaith
service on Sunday, October 20th, to unite in a commitment to resist a “cruel
and broken” immigration system, and calling on Congress to break the gridlock
on immigration reform.  The interfaith service was held at Central Spanish
Baptist Church in Chicago.

“We will resist
‘business as usual’ while mass deportations continue and immigration reform
efforts remain paralyzed in Congress,” declared Pastor Lilian Amaya of
Ministerio Hazel in Chicago.  “Non-violent acts of civil disobedience,
fasts, vigils, and offering sanctuary in our houses of worship are some of the
ways we can honor God’s call to justice and protection for the most
vulnerable.” Rabbi Laurence Edwards shared, “we have witnessed an
immigration system which tears families apart…we renew our commitment to
uphold our sacred traditions by resisting injustice.”

Rev. Dr. Larry
Greenfield, Executive Minister of the American Baptist Churches, led a prayer
for protection of families. “Lord, protect the sanctity of the family, and let
no person threaten or separate the bonds of love which emanate from you.”

After an interfaith
service, the group held a procession on the street, led by two members of the
coalition dressed in orange jump suits, signifying liberation of the
captives.  “Holy One, set us all free to live wholly dependent on you, to
follow your law, and to work together for your peace,” prayed Sr. Margaret
Hansen, Province Leader of the Holy Spirit Missionary Sisters.

Many of these leaders
have met with Congress representatives, including Representative Roskam and
Representative Lipinski, to ask for their support on an Immigration Reform that
will include a path to citizenship.

The event, organized
by the Chicago Religious Leadership Network, was a gathering of over 20
congregations and religious communities who have declared themselves “Immigrant
Welcoming Congregations.”  These congregations pledge to pray and take
action toward justice and mercy for immigrants.  Martinelli Quincenella,
member of Central Spanish Baptist Church, urged more congregations to join in
the coalition. “We’d like everyone to know the invitation is open to everyone
to work together for dignity for the immigrant.”

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Public Citizen has published a thorough review of the past 20 years of NAFTA with their new report, “NAFTA at 20: One Million U.S. Jobs Lost, Mass Displacement and Instability in Mexico, Record Income Inequality, Scores of Corporate Attacks on Environmental and Health
Laws” Click here to see the report.  and march with CRLN and the Illinois Fair Trade Coalition this Saturday to say ‘¡No más!’ to this harmful legacy of free trade and neoliberalism! No to the
Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a.k.a. NAFTA on Steroids!

Contact your members of Congress 
to urge them to vote no on Fast Track legislation for the TPP!

Below are some of the reports’ main findings, but click here to see the report in fullWith mounting evidence around the false promises of free trade, the report goes more deeply into growing income inequality throughout the hemisphere and lawsuits filed by corporations against sovereign nations for “a loss of future profits” resulting from domestic public interest and environmental laws.

  • The export of subsidized U.S. corn did increase under NAFTA, destroying the
    livelihoods of more than one million Mexican campesino farmers and
    about 1.4 million additional Mexican workers whose livelihoods depended on
    agriculture.
  • Scores of NAFTA countries’ environmental and health laws have been challenged in foreign tribunals through the controversial investor-state system. More than $360 million in compensation to investors has been extracted from NAFTA governments via “investor-state” tribunal challenges against toxics bans, land-use rules, water and forestry policies and more. More than $12.4 billion are currently pending in such claims.
  • Facingdisplacement, rising prices and stagnant wages, over half of the Mexican
    population, and over 60 percent of the rural population, still fall below
    the poverty line, despite the promises made by NAFTA’s proponents.
  • Though the price paid to Mexican farmers for corn plummeted after NAFTA, the deregulated retail price of tortillas – Mexico’s staple food – shot up 279 percent in the pact’s first 10 years.
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Saturday, February 1st: Labor and Faith Leaders, Environmental, Human Rights, and Immigration Activists, the Chicago community took to the streets to tell Rep. Mike Quigley not to Fast Track the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a.k.a. NAFTA on steroids. Fast Track would keep the TPP in the dark, away from the public, the media and even our democratically elected members of Congress. Thus far, Rep. Mike Quigley has not committed to defending his constituents by saying no to Fast Track legislation.

Fast Track is not democracy. In case there’s any confusion on the part of TPP negotiators or our pro-Fast Track members of Congress, such as Mike Quigley, about what democracy is, take a look at these photos from last Saturday’s rally. THIS is what democracy looks like. (Click on the photos to enlarge them!)

And thanks to Ervin Lopez for a hefty portion of these photos!


































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When my friends and family found out that I’d partaken in an act
of civil disobedience this past Tuesday, their immediate reaction was to flood
me with questions about the arrest. A couple of emotions and sentiments were
expressed, much of which were either excitement and/or concern. While the civil
disobedience act itself allowed me to experience strong feelings of solidarity
and oneness, to me the occurrences and processes leading up to the action
itself were every bit as important and incredible.

My experience began with about another 150 people partaking in a
pilgrimage walk from ICE Headquarters in Chicago to the Broadview Detention
Center. Along our half-marathon walk (13 miles), during our communal lunches
and conversations, while were are huddled outside of the Broadview Detention
Center, and up to the moments leading up to, and during the civil disobedience
act itself, I saw and talked some of the most incredibly inspiring and
empowering community leaders I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting.

It was my personal decision to partake in act of civil
disobedience near the Broadview Detention Center out of a desire to stand in
solidarity with the families and individuals experience unimaginable suffering
and who are those most directly affected by our current immigration system.
Everything that I saw and experienced along the way only reassured me of my
decision to partake in an act of civil disobedience. The last two days and all
the time and effort that went into organizing these actions were all for a
precise end. As the crowds so excitedly reiterated time and time again,
“Two Million is Too Many. Stop Deportations Now!”

At the end of the day, it was the inspiring community leaders and
activists, the community members and allies, the marchers and participants, and
undocumented, unafraid, families and individuals, who really stole the show!
When one considers all this and all the work and community organizing that is
yet to come but most certainly will come, all we did was simply get
arrested. ​

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Last night, President Obama announced an executive action
that will provide an estimated 4.4 million immigrants temporary relief from
deportation.

Under the President’s actions, age-caps for the Deferred Action for Childhood
Arrivals (DACA) program will be expanded to cover for an additional 300,000
people, protections under DACA will be renewable every three years (previously
two), Secure Communities will be discontinued, and Deferred Action will be
extended to certain parents of United States Citizens and Legally Permanent
Residents. For more detailed information on administrative action, please click

here

.

Yesterday’s announcement is a testament to the hard work of pro-immigrant
organizations across the country, particularly that of undocumented-led
community groups which have fought for these gains through courageous, daring,
and, oftentimes, unconventional tactics.

The Chicago Religious Leadership
Network (CRLN), a network of over 50 congregations and religious communities
across Chicagoland, is committed to participating in the “IL is Ready
Campaign.” Through this campaign, member congregations will be providing
information sessions on the President’s executive announcement and working to
provide legal assistance sessions once applications become available.

While we take a moment to celebrate this hard-earned victory, as people of
faith, we also remember what our sacred texts have taught us: every person
matters and is sacred.

There are nearly 12 million undocumented peoples living in the United States.
Yesterday, the president reminded us that we were all once strangers. Today, we
remind him that principles of our faiths mandate us to love all of our
neighbors, including those who do not meet the specified eligibility criteria.
Minister Steve Van Kuiken, Senior Minister of Lake Street Church, a sanctuary
congregation in Evanston, Illinois stated, “we celebrate the fact that
millions of immigrants will no longer live in constant fear of detention and
deportation. We will continue to offer sanctuary because there are still
millions of other immigrants who live and work in this country still facing the
threat of deportation, workplace exploitation, and the constant fear that their
families will be uprooted or torn apart.”

Faith calls us to be thankful for yesterday’s actions, but faith also requires
us to continue to remain steadfast in our commitment with the undocumented
community. While the protections offered by the President are long
overdue, these actions are not enough. As people of faith we call on our
elected officials, our President, and our Congress to take into account full
human stories, to act with forgiveness and redemption, and to allow all
undocumented immigrants who contribute to their communities to apply for temporary
relief.  As we take a moment ourselves to recall this, today the CRLN
reiterates its commitment to continue to apply pressure until the day comes
when there is #Not1More.

For basic information on administrative relief and who is eleible, download our attached Executive Action Cheat Sheets. Available in English and Spanish.

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English below –> click on title to read full article

El 24 de marzo, el 35 aniversario del asesinato del arzobispo Romero, nos unimos con Community Renewal Society, ONE Northside y el Jane Addams Senior Caucus para una acción “Die-In” en el Ayuntamiento. Tito Moreno, Martinelli Quintanilla, Mario Venegas, y la Reverenda Marilyn Pagan Banks hablaban en nombre de CRLN.

Después de una hora de la presión y tres arrestos, representantes del alcalde se comprometieron arreglar una reunión con Rahm Emanuel, el 4 de abril.

Nos hemos comprometido a luchar por los derechos humanos en Chicago: CRLN lleva más de 25 años denunciando la detención arbitraria y la detención, cárceles secretas, el terrorismo contra a la población civil, la tortura y otras violaciones de los derechos humanos. Cuando nos enteramos de que las cosas podrían estar ocurriendo aquí en Chicago, tenemos que levantar la voz. Por lo tanto nos hemos asociado con otras organizaciones de base para presionar por medidas de responsabilidad policial en el futuro, así como reparación por los errores del pasado.

La Community Renewal Society había estado solicitando una reunión con el alcalde Rahm Emanuel por más de cuatro meses para discutir propuestas concretas para reformar “la Dirección de Revisión Independiente de la Policía” (IPRA) y añadir las medidas de rendición de cuentas a las prácticas actuales en torno cámaras del cuerpo de policía y la práctica de “stop-and -frisk “.  No había respondido- y además, a pesar de numerosas e impactantes informes de personas que han sido efectivamente “desaparecidas” en la Plaza de Homan y otras instalaciones de la policía, el alcalde Emanuel no ha logrado siquiera pedir una investigación.  Él sigue insistiendo en que “seguimos todas las reglas. … Todo se ha hecho por los libros “.

Fuentes de comunicacion locales, nacionales e incluso internacionales cubrieron el evento: Por favor, ver una muestra de los artículos a continuación, y mantenernos en oración el 4 de abril, de que podemos lograr un cambio positivo que es tan largamente esperado.

On March 24, the 35th anniversary of the assassination of Archbishop Romero, we joined with The Community Renewal Society, ONE Northside and the Jane Addams Senior Caucus for a “Die-In” action at City Hall.  Tito Moreno, Martinelli Quintanilla, Mario Venegas, and Rev. Marilyn Pagan Banks all spoke on behalf of CRLN.

After an hour of pressure and three arrests, we did get a commitment from the Mayor to meet with our organizations on April 4.

We have committed ourselves to fight for human rights in Chicago.  CRLN has spent over 25 years speaking out against arbitrary arrest and detention, secret prisons, the terrorizing of civilian populations, torture and other human rights violations.  When we hear that those things could be happening right here in Chicago, we need to speak up.  Therefore we have teamed up with other grassroots organizations to push for police accountability measures going forward as well as reparations for past wrongs.

The Community Renewal Society had been requesting a meeting with Mayor Rahm Emanuel for over four months to discuss specific proposals to overhaul the non-functioning “Independent Police Review Authority” and add accountability measures to the current practices around police body cameras and “stop-and-frisk” activities.  He had not responded- moreover, in the wake of numerous and shocking reports from people who have been effectively “disappeared” at Homan Square and other police facilities, Mayor Emanuel has failed to even call for an investigation. He continues to insist that “we follow all the rules. … Everything’s done by the books.”

We were covered by local, national and even international news sources: Please see a sample of the articles below, and hold us in prayer on April 4, that we can make a positive change that is so long overdue.

Prensa Internacional – Espanol

Se incendia camioneta cargada con pescado en la autopista México Puebla


National press – English


http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/03/24/us-usa-chicago-police-protest-idUSKBN0MK27M20150324


http://www.businessinsider.com/r-three-arrested-as-chicago-protesters-demand-police-reforms-2015-3


http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2015/3/24/chicago-protesters-police-reform.html


http://inthesetimes.com/article/17786/to-this-mayor-black-and-brown-lives-do-not-matter-3-arrested-at-die-in-at-r


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/24/chicago-protest-stop-and-_n_6933006.html

Local press-English


http://www.nbcchicago.com/blogs/ward-room/chicago-city-hall-die-in-police-brutality-297410051.html


http://abc7chicago.com/news/protesters-hold-die-in-at-city-hall/571524/


Protesters Demand Meeting With Emanuel On Police Brutality

Activists protest against police brutality outside mayor’s office


Prensa Local En espanol


http://www.vivelohoy.com/noticias/8438192/exigen-en-chicago-alto-a-los-abusos-policiales


http://chicago.univision.com/videos/video/2015-03-24/arrestos-protesta-rahm-emanuel

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We are in the process of updating these principles.  Please stay tuned for the revised version.

Chicago New Sanctuary Coalition Principles for Immigration Policy

The Chicago New Sanctuary Coalition (CNSC) and Immigrant Welcoming Congregations live out an interfaith vision.  We challenge faith communities and leaders through education, advocacy, and action for immigrant justice.  We recognize each individual as a child of God and as such, deserving of justice and mercy regardless of country of origin, migratory status, race, ethnicity, religion, age, gender identity or sexual orientation.

We live in a time of an immigration crisis and therefore, as people of faith, we are compelled to social action.  We understand that freedom cannot exist for some while is it not fully attainable for others. Freedom cannot exist for some at the cost of the suffering of others: this then is oppression. The United States of America’s current policies are fundamentally exclusionary, oppressive and erroneous in its understanding of the realities of migration.

We recognize structural violence, historically given and economically driven conditions, to be at the root of this crisis. Therefore immigration, trade, environmental and international development policies necessitate transformation to reflect our beliefs in the principles of justice and liberation for all people.


1. Pathway to Citizenship

Immigrants living in the U.S. without authorization must have access to a path to permanent residency and citizenship.  Marginalization drives people to depend on underground means of survival; this is dangerous both for these individuals and the common welfare.  The current crisis is destroying families and communities and demands a comprehensive solution that will allow for a future for sustainable and just immigration policy. We recognize inclusive legalization as the only way to ensure safety and guarantee rights for all people.  A pathway needs to be available for all including skilled and unskilled works and must not be bound to economic barriers that exclude.


2. Family Unity and Integration

Families and households should be allowed to legally migrate and be reunified with family members in a timely and efficient manner.  Family values are central to sustainable communities.  We believe strongly in a right to reunite and integrate.  These tenets should be central in any comprehensive immigration policy reform.


3. Protection for All Human Rights

Human rights are by definition universal.  The immigration crisis has perpetuated an infringement on the dignity of the person.  Human rights include but are not limited to the universal entitlement and protection of the basic rights to survival, emotional and physical security, and access to housing, healthcare and education. The rights of children deserve special attention because of their particular vulnerabilities.

Violations of human rights occur in both countries of emigration and those of immigration.  It is imperative that the rights to mobility, residency and nationality be ensured for all those who migrate to seek the ability to flourish.  Along with the United Nations Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, we assert all workers’ rights to fair wages that support decent livelihood for workers and their families, the right to organize in trade unions, safe and healthy working conditions.  Full worker rights must be recognized, protected and enforced.  The state is obligated to uphold these rights.


If any employment-based immigration program is instituted, the number of visas should be revised according to the signs of the times such as current economic reality.  The option of a pathway to citizenship must be offered to the worker and their family.  All workers should be able to find a pathway to citizenship regardless of skill or education level.


4. Humane Enforcement Strategy

The militarization of border has not successfully stopped the flow of migration.  It has damaged the natural environment, has driven migrants into remote desert regions and causes thousands of deaths of men, women and children.  Militarization has resulted in excessive spending and has not met its intended goals.  ICE and law-enforcement agencies must stop using tactics that terrorize immigrant communities and cease using racial profiling to target certain groups of people. They currently abuse their authority with impunity, rather ICE and law enforcement agencies should be held accountable by independent organizations.

Enforcement-only strategy is not helping immigration or slowing migration.  We need to ensure due process and access to legal counsel that is competent in immigration law.  Immigration authorities should not treat people with civil offenses as if they were criminals.  If immigrants are held in detention facilities, their full human rights must be respected, including access to medical and legal services as well as religious counsel.  We also need alternatives to traditional detention and to halt the privatization of detention, especially in the cases of children.  There should be no profiting off a failed immigration system.


5. Address Root Causes of Migration

While just and comprehensive immigration reform would represent great progress, we must examine what is really broken.  International economic and political conditions often constrain people’s opportunities and make migration one of the few viable options to meet their basic human needs.  While migration has historically been a part of the human experience, the complexity and gravity of the current global migration phenomenon requires a broad-based social and political response that includes, but are not exclusive to, the following:


  • Trade agreements

NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) and other free trade agreements have failed to create opportunity for people to fully realize their basic human needs.  In Mexico, NAFTA has only exacerbated gaps in wages and increased the cost of basic foodstuffs.  NAFTA has not encouraged sustainable economic growth in Mexico nor      curbed migration.  Bilateral/multilateral trade agreements continue to be negotiated worldwide.  Any trade agreement should build mutual, just, and sustainable results for all participating countries.


  • International Development Policy

The World Bank Structural adjustment policies (SAPs), conditions on loans from the International Monetary Fund and World Bank have had severe implications for less developed countries.  They have had a paralyzing effect on countries’ ability to lift themselves out of debt.  The debt incurred has set up a system of dependence between developed and developing countries.  Sustainable and equitable development is necessary for improved well-being and for the an accurate understanding of current migration trends.


  • Environmental injustice and disaster

Trade, unbridled Capitalism, and “progress” have led to the commodification of the environment of many lesser-developed countries.  This has for example shifted subsistence farming into monoculture cash crops destroying local economies as well as causing widespread environmental degradation.  Trade agreements need environmental standards.

Climate refugees are also increasing in numbers as a result of Climate Change but also because of the degradation of the ecosystem.  As disasters continue to increase with intensity greater numbers of people are being forced to move or migrate.  We need to address these emerging needs both in terms of immigration but also from an    environmental justice standpoint.



Click here to return to the main CNSC web page

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Please make one phone call now to restore crucial funding for immigrant services across the state.  The Illinois Senate just passed a bill intended to restore programs eliminated on April 3 which include the Immigrant Services Line Item. At $6.67 million, the Immigrant Services Line Item (ISLI) within the Illinois Department of Human Services budget makes up less than .01% of the total state budget.  ISLI funds two major programs:

  • The Immigrant Family Resource Program provides information and assistance to families interacting with state agencies as they work toward self-sufficiency.  The program engages immigrant serving agencies to help IDHS fulfill its legal obligations to provide language-appropriate services.  Over the past 12 years it has connected more than 500,000 immigrants to vital safety net services and helped them navigate the challenging process of integration.
  • The New Americans Initiative brings together immigrant serving organizations to promote US citizenship and provide citizenship application assistance.  The program has helped more than 96,000 immigrants with their applications since 2005.  Immigrants who become US citizens earn on average $7000 more per year than noncitizens, and pay more in taxes.

We must now tell the House Members we need their vote. Please call your state representative now and ask them to vote yes on SB274 Amendment 4 to restore funding for immigrant services.


TAKE ACTION: Please call your State Representative


“My name is ____ and I’m a member of Chicago Religious Leadership Network.  I’m asking for Rep ____to support full restoration of the $26 million to the Fiscal Year 2015 budget including the Immigrant Services Line Item.  Please vote yes on SB274 Amendment 4.”


FIND YOUR LEGISLATOR HERE

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COURT WATCH

was founded by Sisters Pat Murphy and Joanne Persch of the Sisters of Mercy and Sisters and Brothers of Immigrants. They were moved by their faith and conscience to stand in solidarity with immigrant communities, especially those who remain in detention, who are often the most vulnerable and invisible.

OBJECTIVES

of the Court Watch Program are to stand in solidarity and serve as a presence in Detained
Immigrant Court to let those involved in this system know that we are watching and we care about what happens to our immigrant sisters and brothers.  By serving as a public witness we aim to
bring transparency to this broken system and educate outside communities about the
current conditions of immigrants in detention. It is our goal that through monitoring and documenting our observations we also support the urgent and imperative need for comprehensive immigration
reform.


WHO IS BEING DETAINED?

Each year, as many as 400,000 immigrants are detained by Immigration and Customs
Enforcement (ICE) and they often remain detained for some months unless they
become eligible for bond.

Many of these immigrants have no criminal histories and are being detained on minor charges as well as the civil charge of entering the country without authorization. They are pursuing various forms of legal relief that are available to immigrants, such as asylum, cancellation of removal, waiver of removal, or relief under the Convention Against Torture (CAT).


WHAT IS DETENTION COURT LIKE?

Detention Court is located in the west Loop at 525 W.Van Buren, corner of Canal, in Ste.
500; (312) 697-5800 ext 0.  Immigrants in detention are frequently not present in the courtroom for their hearings.  Rather, they appear via Video-Teleconferencing (VTC).

As many of the detainees are non-native speakers of English, they
communicate via a translator, who may either be present in the courtroom or be
connected telephonically through a translation service.


YOU CAN BECOME A COURT WATCHER!

In order to stand in solidarity for immigrant justice we must provide support, share the voice of immigrants in detention with the public, and let the Department of Justice know that we are
watching. Immigration Detention Court hearings are held Monday – Friday from 9am-12pm and 1pm-4pm, except for Federal holidays. Contact Interfaith Community for Detained Immigrants or email icdichicago.org.


Immigration

Court Watch is a program of the Interfaith
Committee for Detained Immigrants

www.
icdichicago.org


FY
Statistical Year Book, U.S. Department of Justice, Executive Office of
Immigration Review, March 2005

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