Tag Archives: Immigration

Chicago mayoral candidates discuss immigrant entrepreneurs

Yixuan Xie
Medill Reports

Four Chicago mayoral candidates offered their strategies on how to support small business owners, particularly among immigrant populations, at a public forum on Wednesday at the Croatian Cultural Center.

The forum was sponsored by more than 10 multicultural organizations representing Indo-American, Muslim, Jewish, Assyrian, Arab American, Asian American communities and others.

Former federal prosecutor Lori Lightfoot and Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza pointed out that the biggest challenge for small businesses is access to capital. Continue reading

More Than 1,000 Eligible DACA Recipients in Illinois Miss Renewal Deadline, USCIS Reveals

By Griselda Flores
Medill Reports

More than 1,000 eligible DACA recipients in Illinois did not meet the Oct. 5 deadline to renew their temporary legal status application, according to data from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

By the renewal deadline, 6,670 individuals out of 8,650 eligible submitted their DACA renewals in Illinois, which means that 1,980 had not filed their application by the cutoff date set by President Donald Trump’s administration.

While the percentage of those who didn’t meet the deadline seems relatively low, the number in Illinois is significant given its large population of DACA recipients.

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Stoppage Time: Migrant Footballers Wait for Papers in South Africa

By Jacob Rogers

Almost every morning, a soccer team in East Johannesburg gets together to practice. John Real Soccer Academy, as they are known, is a team made up largely of migrants who have come to South Africa to hopefully jump-start careers as professional soccer players.

Unfortunately for many of these players, despite their talent, a professional soccer career can seem far off. Even with a work permit, it is hard to get signed as a professional footballer since the South African Football Association only allows each team to sign three foreign players. According to John Real Academy coach John Nwakanobi, it comes down to one issue.

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Immigrant community finds way forward after election

By Alex Ortiz

“I couldn’t tell them that things were going to be OK,” Jose Muñoz recalls as he and undocumented students watched election night returns Nov. 8 in Pilsen. “All I could tell them was that we are there to support them.”

Students gathered at Resurrection Project that night hoping for an altogether different result than the election of a presidential candidate, who has repeatedly promised to deport undocumented residents, including college students who sought sanctuary under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).  As the night went on and they realized Donald Trump was, indeed, the president-elect, Muñoz, vice president of community ownership, consoled one of the undocumented students who cried.
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One win for Illinois’ immigrant communities: mobilizing new citizens

By Alexa Mencia

Immigrant advocates linked arms in solidarity Wednesday morning to “resist and lead” following the jarring Election Day results. Many tried to inspire a renewed call to action for those feeling defeated by Donald Trump’s victory. Although the election of a political figure notorious for anti-immigrant rhetoric may seem like a setback, immigrant groups in Illinois have one clear achievement this election: mobilizing a new voter base.

Illinois immigrant rights organizers registered 25,292 new voters this year, according to Fred Tsao, senior policy counsel at the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR).

The group put special emphasis on recently naturalized citizens to take advantage of the imminent election to facilitate naturalization, voter registration and voting with one coordinated effort.

Historically, it has seemed that as “the more recent the immigrant, the less likely that person is to register and vote,” acccording to a report by the Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration (CSII) at the University of Southern California. But, this behavioral pattern seems more closely linked to registration than to voting. ICIRR registered 12,000 new voters at naturalization oath ceremonies alone, and once early voting began, the group accompanied the new citizens to polling places.  Take a look how the strategy paid off.

Photo at top: Citizenship applicants meet with a volunteer for assistance in the naturalization process at an ICIRR workshop in October. (Photo by Alexa Mencia/MEDILL)

Today I’m a citizen. Today I vote.

By Alexa Mencia

Is there anything more empowering than a person becoming a citizen and immediately walking over to exercise the right to vote? You decide.

(Alexa Mencia/MEDILL)

Photo at top: Chicagoans vote early at the 15 West Washington Street location where many newly naturalized voters marched after their naturalization ceremony on November 3. (Alexa Mencia/MEDILL)

Undocumented father takes sanctuary in church

By Bian Elkhatib


ose Juan Federico Moreno has not left University Church in Hyde Park since April 15. He is seeking sanctuary from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) after they asked him to self-deport to Mexico.

Moreno, who is from Bolingbrook, has a wife and five U.S. citizen children. He was targeted for deportation after receiving a DUI in 2009.

“I regret what I did. But I paid my fines, all the tickets I got,” Moreno said in Spanish.

He said living in the church is difficult, but he’s thankful for the support he’s receiving from the church, the community and his family.

Photo at top: Jose Juan Federico Moreno has been living in University Church for over 40 days. He is taking sanctuary from Immigration and Customs Enforcement. (Bian Elkhatib/MEDILL)

Visitor finds surprise at Swedish American Museum on its 40th anniversary

By Hannah Gebresilassie

Alan Hagstrom visited the Swedish American Museum on Tuesday and didn’t expect to find what he saw.

“I walk into the room of the display and lo and behold,” says Hagstrom. “There are my grandparents highlighted on the immigrant wall.”

Edward John and Hilda Marie Hagstrom are just two of his four grandparents featured on the Immigrant Wall of Honor, a golden brick-wall that honors immigrant ancestors at the Swedish American Museum in Andersonville.

In this video, Swedish American Museum members speak about the importance of preserving the Swedish heritage. (Hannah Gebresilassie/MEDILL)

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An inside look into one student’s protest of Donald Trump

By Bian Elkhatib

In some ways, Ana Ruiz is the face of a Trump protester. She’s young,  a college student, new to protesting, hurt deeply that she and other Mexican immigrants are being demonized, and will be personally affected by how Trump proposes to lead the country.

She’s a sophomore at the University of Illinois at Chicago, vice president of the Fearless Undocumented Alliance (FUA), a group for undocumented students and allies, and she helped organize the March 11 rally at the UIC Pavilion that was canceled over “security concerns” and that has become the centerpiece in a debate over whether protesters shut down Trump or whether Trump is using the event to mobilize his base.

Follow Ruiz through her day and decide for yourself:

Four days later, Donald Trump won the Illinois Republican primary with 38.8 percent of the votes. He also won Florida, North Carolina, Missouri and the Northern Mariana Islands the same day.

Photo at top: Ana Ruiz, a student at the University of Illinois at Chicago, protests during the anti-Trump rally on campus on Friday, March 11. (Bian Elkhatib/MEDILL)

Local college women answer the call for Hillary at Old Town phone bank

By Jasmine M. Ellis and Torene Harvin

With the March 15 Illinois primary less than a week away, local college students hosted an evening of phone banking for presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on Thursday at the Parkway Ballroom in Old Town.

Sponsored by Hillary for America, several of the volunteers remember meeting Clinton at a young age and wanting to be like her since childhood. A mixed crowd, most volunteers were women.

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