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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
6:38pm
Tue Feb 17

Gutierrez, Illinois Immigration Reformers Call Judge's Ruling A 'Temporary Setback' (VIDEO)

U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL,4) says educational outreach around President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration will press ahead, despite a federal judge's ruling on Monday that temporarily stalled the administration's deportation relief plans.

The Obama administration is expected to appeal the judge's ruling, which comes in response to a lawsuit filed by a group of 26 mostly Republican-run states seeking to stop the president's immigration directives. Illinois has not joined the lawsuit, which claims the two immigration executive orders signed by Obama in November are unconstitutional. The federal judge, Andrew Hanen of the Federal District Court for the Southern District of Texas, determined that the states met the minimum requirements needed to proceed with the lawsuit. 

Hanen's temporary injunction blocks Obama's two new immigration programs from taking effect before the case is decided. The application process for one of the new immigration policies was slated to launch Wednesday.

At a Tuesday morning press conference in Chicago, Gutierrez and leaders with SEIU* and the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) called the judge's decision a "temporary setback" that won't derail their efforts to help immigrants prepare for administrative relief.

"This process can be delayed, but we as a community will not be deterred," Gutierrez said, adding that he believes Obama's new immigration policies will ultimately prevail after the legal process plays out. "Let's make it absolutely clear that the president's actions are well established in legal precedent."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
1:18pm
Fri Jul 25, 2014

Foster To DoD: Let DREAMers Serve In Military

As President Barack Obama weighs executive actions on immigration issues, U.S. Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL,11) is calling on the Department of Defense to allow young undocumented immigrants known as DREAMers to serve in the military.

In 2012, Obama set up the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which grants a two-year protection against deportation for DREAMers, or immigrants who came to the United States as young children prior to June of 2007. The program lets the immigrants work in the country legally, for example, but it does not provide them with a pathway to citizenship or allow them to join the U.S. Armed Forces.

"To qualify for a DACA exemption, applicants must undergo background checks and finish high school," Foster said at a press conference Friday morning in Washington, D.C. "It is simply bad policy to turn away these young men and women while we struggle to find qualified Americans who are able and willing to serve. And it is morally reprehensible to deny these patriotic young men and women the opportunity to serve the country they love."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:37pm
Fri Jun 13, 2014

Homeland Security Chief Tours Broadview Detention Center, Talks Deportation With Local Leaders

U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson was in Illinois Friday at the request of U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) to tour the Broadview Immigration Detention Center and discuss federal deportation policies with immigration reform advocates. 

U.S. Reps. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL,4) and Bill Foster (D-IL,11) joined Johnson and Durbin on the morning tour of the detention center, where they talked with individuals awaiting deportation. 

"We spent time one minute talking to somebody who's about to be deported, and then literally two minutes later we walked out to the family visiting area and spoke with his mother who was trying to see him, catch a glimpse of him, just before he was deported," Johnson said regarding his visit to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center in Broadview. "Those are the kinds of vivid interactions that I think it's good for us in public service, who administer and enforce the law, to have on a routine basis. So that was one of the reasons that I'm sure Senator Durbin wanted me to come here to see Broadview, and I'm glad I did that."

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
5:35pm
Wed Jun 11, 2014

Human Rights Advocates File Complaint Alleging Abuse Of Unaccompanied Migrant Children At U.S. Border

Unaccompanied children migrating to the U.S. are suffering abuse at the hands of U.S. immigration officials, according to a formal complaint filed Wednesday with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) by five civil and human rights organizations that are calling for reform to the agency’s immigrant detention policies.

The complaint was filed on behalf of 116 immigrant children—ages five to 17—who crossed into America alone within the last year. It was addressed to DHS Inspector General John Roth and DHS Officer for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Megan Mack, and calls on the agency to “take significant affirmative steps to address the ongoing, systemic abuse” of unaccompanied migrant children being held in short-term holding facilities.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
11:10am
Mon Jun 2, 2014

Six Illinois Congressmen Get F's On Immigration Score Card

Most lawmakers in the GOP-led U.S. House are "failing the Latino community" when it comes to immigration issues, according to a preliminary score card released last week.

The initial 2014 National Immigration Score Card is based on immigration-related votes taken by the 435 House members of the current 113th Congress.

The worst score of 59 percent went to 219 House members, all of whom are Republicans including six from Illinois. A total of 170 House lawmakers, all Democrats, received the best score of 100 percent, with nine of them being from Illinois. As a whole, the House earned an average score of 77 percent.

“Our community is being disproportionately devastated by the broken immigration system that this Congress refuses to fix. This preliminary score card shows that most in Congress are clearly failing us on immigration right now,” said the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement's (LCLAA) Executive Director Hector Sanchez. “Latinos can no longer tolerate more excuses on why reform has not passed."

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
8:22pm
Thu May 1, 2014

Hundreds Attend Chicago May Day Rally, Demand A Stop To Deportations (VIDEO)

Hundreds of protesters took part in Chicago's May Day events Thursday to stand for workers’ rights and demand an end to deportations. Progress Illinois was there for the day's events.

 

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