We Will Meet This Moment: ICIRR Responds to the 2016 Election Results

November 10, 2016

We are entering a very difficult  phase in our movement. People are worried and saddened about the uncertain times ahead. This is a time to create space to share, listen and commit to love and protect each other and to realize the power that we have in the face of looming threats. ICIRR members made it immediately known that the resolve and the resiliency of our communities will not waver.

"You are not alone," said ICIRR chief executive officer Lawrence Benito, addressing immigrants who have felt threatened by attacks from President-elect Trump.  "We will fight back hard against any attacks on us and on other vulnerable communities."  

We have a collective duty to meet this moment, and ICIRR members recommitted to meet this moment. Just hours following an Election Day in which hundreds of ICIRR members and their volunteers across Illinois made 20,000 calls and knocked on 50,000 doors to Get Out the Vote, more than 100 community leaders stood in solidarity and called for powerful organized resistance from Illinois.  We were joined by faith, labor, and business leaders as well as US Reps. Jan Schakowsky and Luis Gutierrez and Congressman-elect Brad Schneider. Imelda Salazar, organizer for the Southwest Organizing Project, spoke for many of us when she said, “ We’re hurting, we’re sad, we’re angry. Whatever we are, it’s okay. But that will not stop us.”

“We will hold our elected officials and the new administration accountable as tightly as we hold each other during these times,” added Inhe Choi, director of Korean American Resource and Cultural Center.

Isabel, a youth leader from the Southwest Suburban Immigrant Project in Bolingbrook  and DACA recipient, stated that when Illinois voters got out to vote, they gave the country a mandate that “undocumented  immigrants should no longer fear deportation, should no longer live in no longer live in the shadows, and should no longer want to be considered less than a person. We’re not going anywhere! This is our home. We will continue to fight as a coalition to ensure that Illinois be one of the most immigrant friendly states in the US. We are resilient. Justice is on our side, and we will not give up.”

Rehab Ahmed, Executive Director of the Chicago Office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations challenged us all to  “understand that change cannot occur without serious organizing, without unity.” We will meet this challenge and  build stronger alliances and stand hand-in-hand with all of our brothers and sister from marginalized communities. This is but a stop on the long journey towards true freedom, equity, and acceptance of all people.  We will not stay silent.”

In the coming weeks, ICIRR and its members will be developing strategies to resist any anti-immigrant and xenophobic national agenda and move forward to improve state and local policies to keep Illinois a strong and welcoming places for immigrants.  We will also provide revamped resources for know-your-rights information distribution to share with your communities.

What you can do immediately:

Click here to commit to get involved in ICIRR’s Resistance and Revision Campaign

Media coverage of our post-election press conference:

Chicago Tribune

Chicago Sun-Times

WLS-TV, channel 7

WFLD, channel 32

Telemundo

WBEZ radio