ICIRR Joins “Juntos Podemos/Together We Can” Program LaunchSeptember 12, 2015
ICIRR Joins “Juntos Podemos/Together We Can” Program Launch
Chicago Program Launches with Rally, Citizenship Workshop
(Chicago—September 12, 2015) Today, the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) joined State Representatives Edward Acevedo and Elizabeth Hernandez, Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, and other leaders from the Chicago area’s Mexican American community for a rally and naturalization workshop marking the launch of "Juntos Podemos/ Together We Can." This bi-national effort supports the integration of Mexican immigrants in the United States while strengthening important connections with Mexico.
“I am proud to be here today as we embark on this journey that has been 15 years in the making,” said Juntos Podemos President Josefina Mota. “The path to citizenship and assimilation into the United States is critical for the Mexican American community, and this joint community effort will provide boundless opportunities to millions of Mexican immigrants.”
Juntos Podemos focuses on Mexican integration and prosperity in the United States, engaging Mexican business leaders and grassroots organizations. This initiative is now active across the country, with local projects in Chicago, Dallas, Phoenix, Los Angeles, and New York reaching more than 300,000 Mexican immigrants with health care, educational funding, citizenship support, and other services.
In Chicago, ICIRR and other organizations are teaming up to empower local communities and strengthen citizenship efforts with civic training, citizenship application support, and networking that builds the Mexican American community’s political and economic influence.
“This is a glorious day for our community,” said Juan Salgado, executive director of Instituto del Progreso Latino, which hosted today’s event and which provides education, training, and employment services for Chicago’s southwest side and near western suburbs. “We are proud to join this powerful collaborative effort to improve the lives of Mexican Americans throughout our area so they can contribute even more to our greater community.”
Given the importance of US citizenship to the stability of Mexican American families and communities, ICIRR and its partners marked the launch of Juntos Podemos with a citizenship workshop. Staff and volunteers with these organizations guided more than 50 immigrants through their citizenship applications, answering questions about fees and documentation and laying out the next steps for the application process. Juntos Podemos is planning further workshops and other events over the next several months. Mexican immigrants comprise a substantial portion of the U.S. population. Thirty-five million people of Mexican origin live in the U.S., and 11 million American households have at least one parent of Mexican origin. At a time when immigration has become a heated national debate, ICIRR and other participating organizations are coming together through Juntos Podemos to ensure that Mexican Americans have a representative voice, stable future, and strong connection with their Mexican roots.
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.