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Illinois Coalition For Immigrant and Refugee Rights

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Quick Hit
by Aricka Flowers
7:15pm
Thu Jun 23, 2016

Illinois Immigration Reform Advocates Vow To Press On After Supreme Court's Split Vote On Executive Orders (VIDEO)

The U.S. Supreme Court announced a 4-4 split on the case challenging President Barack Obama's executive orders on immigration reform and Illinois advocates are expressing their dismay as they plan to press their efforts forward.

The deadlock vote means the president's November 2014 orders to expand the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and install the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) have been blocked for the time being.

The programs would have deferred deportation for three years for undocumented immigrants who are parents of U.S. citizens and green card holders, while also expanding protections for people who were brought to the U.S. as minors and were not covered by the original DACA program. More than 4 million immigrants would have benefited from the orders, 280,000 people living in Illinois.

"This ruling is deeply frustrating and disappointing for all immigrant communities," said Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights CEO Lawrence Benito.  "Instead of being able to move forward with our lives and contributing further to our entire community, immigrants remain vulnerable to the knock on the door that could separate them from their families and from the lives they have made in this country."

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
4:31pm
Fri Apr 15, 2016

SCOTUS To Hear Oral Arguments Monday In Major Immigration Case

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Monday in a major case challenging the Obama administration's executive actions on immigration. Ahead of oral arguments, Democratic congressmen and advocates are detailing what the case's potential outcomes could mean for the immigrant community.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:53pm
Tue Mar 8, 2016

New Americans Hit The Polls In Chicago As Immigrant Advocates Gear Up For Anti-Trump Protest

A few dozen newly naturalized American citizens living in Chicago voted Tuesday afternoon for the first time in a U.S. election, casting ballots during the early voting period for the March 15 Illinois primary.

Representatives from the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) assisted the new Americans of Polish, Irish and Mexican descent in the naturalization and voter registration process.

ICIRR representatives led the group on a march in downtown Chicago that started at the Dirksen Federal Building, where the long-term immigrants were naturalized as new American citizens. Afterward, the group headed to the Chicago Board of Elections. There, the new Americans registered to vote and voted early.

"Fortunately, we have early voting and grace period registration to facilitate people who are just getting naturalized now a few days before the primary to be able to still have the opportunity to vote," said ICIRR's Fred Tsao. "It used to be that if you missed the voter registration deadline four weeks before the election, you were out of luck."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
3:08pm
Thu Feb 4, 2016

Advocates: U.S. Immigration Authorities Must Reverse Decision To Deport DACA Recipient

An undocumented 32-year-old mother of three living in Valparaiso, Indiana who was deported to Mexico earlier this week will soon return to the United States after immigration officials reversed their decision to deport her, immigrant advocates said Thursday.

Lesly Sophia Cortez-Martinez's case is far from settled, however, as she is expected to face deportation proceedings when she returns to the United States.

"Thankfully for Lesly she can reunite with her family, even though she could face a long court battle," Cortez-Martinez's attorney Mony Ruiz-Velasco said on a Thursday morning conference call with reporters.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:16pm
Tue Jan 5, 2016

Illinois Immigrant Advocates Condemn U.S. Deportation Crackdown On Central American Migrants (VIDEO)

Illinois immigrant advocates spoke out Tuesday against a federal deportation crackdown on families who recently entered the United States illegally through the southern border.

This past weekend, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials apprehended 121 undocumented adults and their children living in Georgia, Texas and North Carolina as part of "nationwide enforcement operations to take into custody and return at a greater rate adults who entered this country illegally with children," U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said in a statement Monday.

ICE's weekend actions come in response to the wave of Central American migrants, many fleeing violence in their home countries, who started arriving at the southern U.S. border in the spring of 2014.

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