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Immigration

Immigration news, from Chicago's neighborhoods to America's borders, including legal, political and humanitarian coverage.

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Release undocumented immigrants who pose no danger before deadly coronavirus sweeps through detention centers

When you’re in a crowded place and struggle to get your hands on soap, you’re in big trouble against a deadly virus.

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Lawmakers urge ICE, CBP to release thousands of immigrants amid coronavirus pandemic

"We’re calling on ICE to act now ... because we know that people will die if we don’t take action," said Rep. Linda Sánchez (D-Calif.).

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Undocumented immigrants face coronavirus, looming jobs crisis with no real safety net

The $2 trillion stimulus package passed by Congress on Friday excludes giving any direct aid to tax-paying undocumented immigrants.

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Southwest Side construction worker released after 9 months in ICE detention

Jesus Alberto Lopez Gutierrez, 24, was released on bond last week from a detention center in Minnesota. He will now apply to renew his DACA protections.

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Illinois sheriffs: Violent felons facing deportation released into communities

Sheriff Mike Downey of Kankakee County said the Illinois Sheriffs’ Association was not given a reason for a recent policy switch, which Downey said is akin to giving the ex-inmates a "head start to evade federal law."

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Organization doubles college scholarships awarded to Illinois’ DACA recipients

TheDream.US will give about 120 college scholarships for the 2020-2021 academic school year.

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DACA-eligible man sues ICE to release files on why he’s being detained

Jesus Alberto Lopez Gutierrez, 24, is eligible for DACA but remains in detention — a violation of ICE’s own rulebook, his lawyer argues.

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Lawmakers, advocates celebrate new statewide legal aid funding program

The "Access to Justice" program will fund community organizations that serve immigrants and working-class residents across the state.

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No need to fear ICE, even if you take part in school elections, CPS assures parents

Local School Council elections will take place in April, with candidate applications due in March.

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Groups aim to reach city’s hard-to-count residents in 2020 Census: ‘If there is an undercount, that voice is lost’

Community groups are working toward an accurate count on Census Day.

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CPD agreement with ICE is about combating terrorism, drug and human trafficking — not immigration enforcement, mayor says

The agreement has raised eyebrows among some immigration advocates. But Mayor Lori Lightfoot has no such concerns — not after the City Council voted Wednesday to strengthen Chicago’s Welcoming City ordinance.

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ICE can deputize Chicago police as ‘customs officers,’ worrying advocates

Police officials say the agreement is to combat anti-terrorism and gang violence but some activists aren’t buying it.

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Joy on this most Jewish of holidays, Christmas

Not sure who Donald Trump thinks is averse to saying "Merry Christmas." Jews have been saying it, and getting paid to do so, for years.

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Lightfoot to State Department: Refugees still welcome in Chicago

"... our doors continue to remain open to refugees from around the world that are seeking a new home for themselves and a new future in our great country," Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a statement.

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Alejandra Cano is allowed to remain free but will face deportation charges

Dozens of Cano’s relatives and supporters danced in the cold outside the federal building in the Loop as they waited for the single mom of two to be released.

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Lightfoot moves to strengthen Welcoming City ordinance — but leaves ‘carve-outs’ in place for now

Immigrant activists have demanded removal of exceptions that govern how Chicago Police cooperate with ICE. Lightfoot campaigned on the promise to do just that.

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Pritzker expected to sign letter consenting to refugee resettlement

New Trump administration policy requires state and local consent.

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Advocates demand ICE release DACA-eligible Chicago man from detention

Jesus Alberto Lopez Gutierrez went on a camping trip to Iowa with his friends in May. He never came back home.

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ICE moves to deport Little Village father of 4 two weeks before Christmas

Authorities took Basilio Perez into custody after a residency marriage interview with his wife, a U.S. citizen.

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Advocates warn immigrants against buying ‘legal’ weed in Illinois

Illinois’ cannabis legalization doesn’t apply equally to everyone — especially immigrants, advocates say.

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Chicago woman survived drug addiction and made a life for herself; Now, she might get deported

Alejandra Cano has been sober for five years, but old shoplifting cases have come back to haunt her.

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‘The more, the merrier’ — why we need babies and immigrants

The national birth rate continues to slide; only immigration keeps the United States from shrinking demographically.

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Students give thanks for America and Sullivan High

Gratitude expressed in many languages as Rogers Park high school holds its third Thanksgiving celebration.

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Waukegan boy and his mom await decision on asylum

Iker Velasquez, 8, and his mother fled Honduras as political refugees in 2014.

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Chicago rated the most welcoming U.S. city for immigrants

The New American Economy’s 2019 Cities Index examined the largest 100 cities in the United States and found "traditional immigration gateways" still lead on immigration policy.

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In less than five hours, Trump slams Chicago crime, ridicules top cop, raises $4M — and sparks protests comparing him to Hitler

"There is one person who is not here today. Where is he? I want to talk to him," Trump said of Police Supt. Eddie Johnson. "In fact, more than anyone else, this person should be here because maybe he could learn something."

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Fact-check: Durbin mostly right in claim about link between Illinois deportations and serious crime

Durbin said that in Illinois, less than 20% of immigrants who are deported "have been charged with any serious crime." Limited federal backs that up, but it comes with a few caveats.

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Streamwood company operators charged with hiring, harboring undocumented workers

The Kuzelka family allegedly rehired at least 18 undocumented workers at KSO MetalFab Inc. after firing them in 2017, prosecutors said.

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Trump policy targeting immigrants who use safety net services blocked by federal court in Illinois

Illinois on Monday added its name to a list of four other states that have blocked Trump’s public charge rule that targets poor immigrants who receive public assistance.

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Politicians condemn conditions at ICE detention center in Kankakee

Rep. Jesus "Chuy" Garcia and some Chicago-area elected officials paid a surprise visit to the Jerome Combs Detention Center this week.

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Trump v. Jesus: Christians can’t follow both

"If you are followers of Jesus, you can’t ignore what Jesus said," said Rev. Jim Wallis, who was educated in Deerfield and returns to the area for appearances this weekend.

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Deported Army veteran Miguel Perez Jr. sworn in as U.S. citizen

Perez served two tours in Afghanistan in 2002 and 2003 and was deported in 2018 after he was convicted in a drug case.