Good afternoon. Here’s the latest news you need to know in Chicago. It’s about a 5-minute read that will brief you on today’s biggest stories.
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For immigrants and advocates in Chicago, ‘work is only beginning’ as they await new Biden administration
As a young immigrant enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, Yearim Choi said the past four years under President Donald Trump’s administration have been anxiety-inducing.
The 23-year-old always hesitated to tell people she was among the thousands of DACA recipients until she traveled to Washington, D.C., when the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in a case about the program.
“I saw so many strong DACA recipients that kind of took (this) on as an identity,” Choi said. “The community really helped me identify with that part of myself and accept it and be who I am regardless.”
Choi, of Pilsen, breathed a sigh of relief when Joe Biden was declared the winner of the presidential election. On his first day in office, Biden is expected to sign an executive order to reinstate legal protections that the Trump administration has tried to end for so-called “Dreamers” like Choi, incoming chief of staff Ron Klain recently said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
Still, many immigration advocates in Chicago say they will continue to push the next administration to protect immigrants, prioritizing ending family separations at the border and halting all deportations.
“Our work is only beginning,” said Fred Tsao, senior policy counsel for the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights. “Even though President-elect Biden has made statements and promises, we need to make sure those promises are kept.”
Once Biden is in office, immigration policies enacted through Trump’s executive orders, like the travel ban placed on a cluster of predominantly Muslim countries, could be easily reversed, Tsao said. But other changes that went through a regulator process — like the controversial public charge rule that would withhold green cards from immigrants who receive public benefits — will need to go through a similar process again to change, he said.
And immigration advocates are bracing for last-minute changes to immigration policy that could still happen in the last two months of the Trump administration. Days after the election results were announced, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced immigrants who apply for citizenship after Dec. 1 will have to take a new test. The test is expected to have more questions and be more difficult, Tsao said.
In October, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement moved forward with expedited removals, which would allow agents to speed up deportations of immigrants who have been in the U.S. for less than two years and don’t have proper documentation, according to the agency’s website.
Miguel Lopez, of Organized Communities Against Deportations, said the group has kept tabs on deportation raids in other states. They are staying in touch with rapid response networks in Chicago, which have expanded during the Trump era. The networks support immigrants in the area and alert each other when immigration agents are spotted.
“This is not a time to put our guard down,” Lopez said. “We want to be and continue to be in solidarity with other movements — not just about Trump — different policies that affect Black and Brown communities in Chicago.”
More news you need
- Museums and casinos will be closed and retail spaces statewide will see capacity limits under new state restrictions Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced today as the state grapples with rising coronavirus case counts. The restrictions are scheduled to take effect statewide Friday.
- Public health officials today announced 12,601 more coronavirus cases have been identified across Illinois as a massive Midwest resurgence is sending unprecedented numbers of COVID-19 patients into hospitals statewide. Over 300 more hospital beds were occupied by coronavirus patients last night compared to Sunday night, reaching a record high of 5,887.
- In Chicago, officials confirmed seven more deaths from the coronavirus today as the city’s new case numbers, and positivity rate, continue to climb. Health officials also reported a 31% increase in new cases, to 2,296, up from 1,749.
- Twenty-three people were shot yesterday in Chicago, marking a violent start to the week and surpassing the gun violence totals of the entire weekend prior. A 5-year-old boy and three teenagers were among the day’s victims.
- Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s administration should hold off on issuing a final operating permit for General Iron’s owner as the government investigates whether the move to the Southeast Side violates the civil rights of residents there, according to a federal official. The official said a federal civil rights inquiry likely would be hampered if the city issues the permit.
- The Shedd Aquarium, which had reopened to the public in July following mandated shutdowns that began in March due to COVID-19, is once again closing its doors to the public out of an abundance of caution. The aquarium will close at 5 p.m. today with a reopening date scheduled for Jan. 2, 2021.
- For those of us stuck sharing Thanksgiving Day celebrations with family over the internet this year, Zoom is removing at least one logistical hurdle for non-paying users: the company’s time limit imposed on free meetings. From 11 p.m. on Nov. 25 through 5 a.m. on Nov. 27, free Zoom meetings will be allowed to run past the 40-minute limit.
A bright one
When Carnegie Hall pays tribute to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Thursday evening with a star-studded online concert, Chicago connections will be abundant.
Celebrated soprano Reneé Fleming, special projects adviser to Lyric Opera of Chicago, and soprano Patrice Michaels, Ginsburg’s daughter-in-law, who teaches voice at the University of Chicago and Northwestern University, will be among the four principal artists.
The latter will perform “My Dearest Ruth,” an art song Ginsburg’s two children, Jane and James, founder of the Chicago-based classical recording label Cedille Records, commissioned from Chicago composer Stacy Garrop for Ginsburg’s 80th birthday.
Thursday’s commemoration, titled “Live with Carnegie Hall: Remembering Ruth Bader Ginsburg,” will take place about two months after the death of the popular justice, who joined the Supreme Court in 1993.
“It’s a really nice gesture,” Garrop said of the Carnegie concert, “that the organization realizes the importance of RBG and what she brought to the country. And to take the music that’s been important to the Ginsburg family and make sure this music is getting highlighted is really wonderful.”
From the press box
The Cubs will enter a new era later this week after Theo Epstein announced this morning that he’s stepping down as the club’s president of baseball operations, effective Friday. Jed Hoyer, Epstein’s longtime right-hand man and current Cubs general manager, will be promoted to take on his old boss’ role.
And while it didn’t look good for Nick Foles at the end of last night’s game, the Bears quarterback got “good” news on his hip and will avoid injured reserve, coach Matt Nagy said today.
Your daily question ☕
What do you think of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s latest restrictions on stores, museums and casinos?
Email us (please include your first name and where you live) and we might feature your answer in the next Afternoon Edition.
Yesterday, we asked you what you would do differently over the past 8 months if you had a time machine. Here’s what some of you said…
“Spend more time with my mom. I miss her so much.” — Shirley Beach
“Exercise and read more books.” — Teri Lombardo Brabec
“Watch less news and do more yoga.” — Sandra J. Limjuco
“Tell my sister to go see the doctor.” — John Liptow
“Moved to Australia.” — Paul Bucklaw
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