ICIRR Backs Justice Dept. Request to Lift Block on Immigration Relief

April 17, 2015

 ICIRR Backs Justice Dept. Request to Lift Block on Immigration Relief 

Praises Officials Who Support Request; Renews Call for Immigrant Services Funding  

(Chicago—April 17, 2015)  The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals hears argument today regarding the U.S. Department of Justice motion to stay the injunction pausing the President's administrative relief programs, the new Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program and an expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.  The following is the statement of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR):

ICIRR is proud to join a broad alliance of U.S. Representatives, state attorneys general, mayors, county leaders, law enforcement officials, and religious and civil rights groups in supporting the Justice Department's motion. We are deeply grateful that Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran, Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, Skokie Mayor George Van Dusen, Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering, Dolton Mayor Riley Rogers and Illinois’ U.S. Representatives Bobby Rush, Robin Kelly, Luis Gutierrez, Mike Quigley, Danny Davis, Tammy Duckworth, Jan Schakowsky, Bill Foster, and Cheri Bustos have joined the hundreds of other officials and organizations who have signed on to briefs supporting the Administration's action.

All of these allies recognize the authority of the Administration to set priorities for immigration enforcement, as well as the importance of enabling undocumented immigrants with strong ties to this country to live without fear, support themselves and their families, and move forward with their lives. We also see the strong economic benefit to our communities and our entire nation when undocumented immigrants can work lawfully, get and even create better jobs, earn more, spend more, and pay more in taxes.  Granting work permits to the more than 200,000 immigrants potentially eligible for DAPA and expanded DACA would result in a nearly $2,000 increase in average earnings for each immigrant and generate a $347 million increase in tax revenues for Illinois over five years.  Sadly, Texas and the other states seeking to block administrative relief are blind to these benefits, which undercut their standing to sue to block these programs.

Implementation of DAPA and DACA will require strong collaboration among community organizations, lawyers and legal service providers, faith communities, state and local government, funders, and other stakeholders. Over the past several months the Illinois is Ready campaign has convened these stakeholders to coordinate work to inform communities and prepare individuals for their applications. These efforts continue despite the injunction, which we and our allies believe will eventually be overturned.

These efforts rely on a strong infrastructure engaging organizations based in and trusted by immigrant communities. Governor Rauner, however, has frozen immigrant services funding that has helped build the capacity of these organizations to assist their communities with citizenship, DACA, and other life-changing services, and is proposing to eliminate this funding in the next fiscal year. This despite Rauner calling administrative relief "a great start" shortly after it was announced. We call on Governor Rauner to restore this funding, an investment in immigrant communities which pays off in greater economic growth and tax revenue for our entire state.

The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights is a statewide coalition of more than 130 organizations dedicated to promoting the rights of immigrants and refugees to full and equal participation in the civic, cultural, social, and political life of our diverse society. For more information, visit www.icirr.org.