Illinois General Assembly Passes RISE Act

Thu May 09 2019

312.806.5185

Cara Yi

Illinois General Assembly Passes RISE Act


Bill to provide students with equitable access to financial aid 

Springfield, Ill. (May 9, 2019)—The Campaign for a Welcoming Illinois and the RISE Act Task Force composed of universities, students, and immigrant rights organizations across the state applaud the Illinois Senate for voting 35-15 yesterday to approve the RISE Act (HB2691).
 
The RISE Act will help ensure equitable access to education and improve retention, benefiting more than 3,000 African American, undocumented, and transgender students making them eligible to apply for financial aid so they can attend any college or university in Illinois.

“All students should have equitable access to financial aid regardless of race, socioeconomic background, immigration status or gender identity,” said Sen. Omar Aquino (D-Chicago), chief Senate sponsor of the RISE Act. “I’m proud to support the effort to make Illinois a welcoming state for all.”

“Retaining and supporting students benefits all residents of Illinois,” said Assistant Majority Leader Elizabeth “Lisa” Hernandez (D-Cicero), chief sponsor of the RISE Act. “This bill is the result of collaborative effort over the past four years and is a vital step forward in ensuring equitable access to higher education for all students.”

Students, along with college and university representatives, led by the University of Illinois-Chicago, and organizations such as PASO-West Suburban Action Project and National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC), members of the Campaign for a Welcoming Illinois, have been actively leading and advocating for the bill as part of a multi-year, coalition-led effort to advance the rights of black, brown, and transgender communities.

“We deserve this and more, for ourselves and our communities,” said Jocelyn Munguía Chávez, University of Illinois at Chicago alum and student member of the RISE Task Force since 2013. “I’m grateful to be part of a team that is resilient and determined. Over the years, we students met as part of an Illinois Student Coalition to advocate in all ways possible. Being a part of these policy efforts has been challenging and rewarding in many ways. I look forward to this being realized.”.

“This law will be life-changing for thousands of Illinois residents, who now will have doors opened to them to pursue and complete higher education,” said Julián Lazalde, Civic Engagement & Policy Analyst at NIJC. “The RISE Act is a culmination of years of work by students and advocates who have worked together to make access to education more equitable in Illinois, and this success will impact generations of students to come.”

“We applaud the efforts of leaders of the Black and Latino caucuses, especially Senator Aquino, Leader Hernandez, Leader Gordon Booth, Representative Ammons, Leader Lightford, and many other legislators for recognizing and representing the needs of our diverse communities,” said Mony Ruiz-Velasco, executive director of PASO-West Suburban Action Project and board president of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR). 

HB2691 will next move forward for Governor Pritzker’s signature. 

###

About the Campaign for a Welcoming Illinois 
The Campaign for a Welcoming Illinois is an alliance of more than 85 organizations that seeks to pass state-level legislation to ensure that immigrants can fully participate in our society.

 

About the RISE Act Task Force
Led by the University of Illinois at Chicago, students and educators from across the state, other colleges and universities, as well as  PASO-West Suburban Action Project, the National Immigrant Justice Center, the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant & Refugee Rights, among others, the RISE Act Task Force mobilized student leaders across Illinois to advocate for equitable access to education and to make Illinois a welcoming a state for all. 

Back to News

ICIRR is 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.
©2018 Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights
228 S. Wabash, Suite 800
Chicago, Illinois 60604
Contact Us
  • Facebook Social Icon
  • Instagram Social Icon
  • Twitter Social Icon
  • YouTube Social  Icon