ICIRR Welcomes Illinois State Budget Resolution

June 30, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information, contact
Breandan Magee, 773-814-8273

ICIRR Welcomes Illinois State Budget Resolution

Deal Temporarily Restores Immigrant Services Funding, Other Key Line Items

(CHICAGO-- June 30, 2016) The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) applauds the leaders and members of the Illinois General Assembly for reaching a resolution of the state’s year-long budget impasse.

The main appropriations bill, SB 2047, restores funding for the Immigrant Services Line Item (ISLI), which provides resources for the New Americans Initiative citizenship program and the Immigrant Family Resource Program, which assists immigrant families with language access and self-sufficiency support.  ISLI has funded 60 community-based organizations that have provided direct services to over 1 million immigrants throughout the state.  Illinois is home to 1.8 million immigrants or 14% of the state’s population.

“We are happy that both parties in both chambers have heard the voices of our communities and reached an agreement that will help immigrant families and the organizations that serve them,” said Lawrence Benito, chief executive officer of ICIRR. ICIRR and its member organizations worked with Democratic and Republican leaders in the Illinois House and Senate to ensure that ISLI was included in any final budget deal.  SB 2047 funds ISLI at $5,884,100, a slight cut from previous years.

ICIRR also advocated for full state funding for adult education programs through the Illinois Community College Board, including English as a Second Language and citizenship preparation programs.  SB 2047 contributes $23,250,000 to these programs.  ICIRR also supported funding for the Parent Mentors program, which will receive $1,466,300, and the Immigrant Welcoming Centers, which are funded at $1,461,500.

ICIRR will remain vigilant to protect funding for these and other key services.  “While this deal is welcome, it is only a six-month stopgap,” added Benito.  “We will need to keep working to make sure that these programs continue beyond December, and that the overall budget situation is resolved in a responsible way.”

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, visitwww.icirr.org