200+ Immigrant & Refugee Community Leaders Lobby Springfield on ICIRR Advocacy Day

March 1, 2018
Demian Kogan
Director of Organizing

Over 200 leaders from the immigrant and refugee community and their allies joined forces to meet with more than 50 legislators at the State Capitol in Springfield on Wednesday. The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) Advocacy Day marked the launch of the spring advocacy season as activists from 25 from organizations around the state pushed their elected officials to support the 2018 ICIRR Platform for Immigrant & Refugee Families and the continuation of last year’s Campaign For A Welcoming Illinois.

Attendees kicked off the day with an opening rally in the Rotunda that highlighted community priorities for the year. Said Peggy Slater of the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs: “We are driving and supporting various pieces of legislation that will make Illinois more welcoming to all!”

Nancy Garcia from the Southwest Suburban Immigrant Project (SSIP) also reminded elected officials in attendance — including State Representatives Dan Burke and Luis Arroyo — “This is an election year. People are watching what you do in Springfield and in DC very closely.” Rep. Burke also directly addressed community members in the audience, telling them, “You have my full support.”

The 2018 ICIRR Platform outlines several objectives for the immigrant and refugee community, including but not limited to:

  • Maintaining the Immigrant Services Line Item (ISLI) to find critical services such as interpretation services throughout the state’s safety net programs, citizenship support and more.
  • Passing the VOICES Act to require law enforcement agencies to provide U visa certifications for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and other crimes that require federal protection for the survivors’ safety.
  • Passing the No Registry bill to bar Illinois from creating or participating in any registry program that singles out residents based on their religion, race or country of origin.
  • Passing Safe Zones legislation to develop model policies to protect against ICE arrests at courthouses, schools, hospitals and other sensitive locations.

Leaders from ICIRR member organizations who attended the lobby day include: Enlace, Project Irene, Jewish Council of Urban Affairs Casa Michoacán Federación De Clubes Michoacános En Illinois, Mujeres Latinas en Accion, Instituto del Progreso Latino, Chicago Immigrant Irish Support, Centro de Trabajadores Unidos, Communities United, PASO, Indo American Center, Southwest Organizing Project, Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago, Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago, Arab American Family Services, Centro Romero, United Congress of Community and Religious Organizations, The Resurrection Project, Southwest Suburban Immigrant Project, Access Living, LOS, Muslim Women’s Resource Center, Spanish Community Center, Cicero/ Berwyn Community, Albany Park Community Center

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.


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