Undocumented and exposed under a Trump presidency

By Alexa Mencia [A version of the story was originally published in The American Prospect.] Operating room nurse Jose Aguiluz knew that Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) was only a Band-Aid for his immigration problem. It wasn’t a pathway to citizenship. The benefits it offered were limited, temporary. But critically to Aguiluz, it was […]

Close to Thanksgiving, hundreds of O’Hare workers set to strike

By June Leffler [Update: On Mon., Nov. 21, SEIU Local 1 announced that the strike has been delayed until after the Thanksgiving holiday weekend and is now set for Tues., Nov. 29] Baggage handlers, custodians, security officers and wheelchair attendants have voted to strike in the next few days, potentially through Thanksgiving weekend. Workers are […]

Early voting eases the way for first-time immigrant voters

First-time voter Kahkashan Noreen cast her ballot with help from ESL instructor

By Jingzhe(Kelly) Wang Election day is Tuesday, of course, but people can vote every day until then. There is a difference. Early voting doesn’t take place in neighborhood precincts. It takes place at designated places. There is an important advantage, especially for first-time voters who may want assistance.  Come with first-time voter Kahkashan Noreen, as […]

Kids serve as translators for parents who speak little English

By Shanshan Wang Idalia Cervantes still recalls vividly when she accompanied her mother to the doctor as her interpreter at age seven. Not yet knowing the word “cough,” she faked several coughs to help describe the symptom. “I was learning English myself and I only knew a few words,” Cervantes said. Even though she was […]

Palestinian music director conducts Persian Concert for packed house

Waneez Zarour directing the Middle East Music Ensemble

By Vishakha Darbha and Hannah Gebresilassie Emotional, passionate and a musical genius are just a few words used to describe Wanees Zarour. Born and raised in Ramallah, Palestine, director and composer Zarour leads the Middle East Music Ensemble at the University of Chicago, which was established in 1997. His “Persian Concert” at the Reva and […]

Cantonese opera strikes a chord in Chinatown

Performer in the Cantonese Opera

By Vishakha Darbha The Chicago Public Library hosts a Cantonese opera every Wednesday and Saturday, performed by the Zhaoqiu Chinese American ART Center. Opened last August, Chinatown has seen a growth in the number of new institutions, including a Park District Field House. Chicago invested $19 Million in building the library. It is designed by […]

A tale of two cities: how education trumps war in Chicago and Reyhanli

By Aryn Braun “There are lots of Syrians in Chicago like me, second-generation Syrians,” says Samia Akhras, 24, of Chicago’s growing Syrian Community. But Chicago isn’t home. Chicago isn’t Syria. Syrian-Americans, like Akhras and her family, are constantly reminded of the violence and upheaval that is everyday life in the Syrian Arab Republic. Akhras’ voice, […]

Immigrants express a different reality on abortion rights

Abortion Rights March

By Vishakha Darbha Standing amid a sea of posters that proclaimed “My body, My Choice,” Loreen Targos recalled a story her mother had narrated to her about abortion in Taiwan. Her mother’s friend did not want to have a sixth child, and lost her life in a desperate attempt to get an illegal abortion.