News Tag: Immigration


September 14, 2018

Local Challenges, State and National Solutions

Many of the access to justice issues we face in the Chicago area require action on the state or federal level to resolve. Working with many dedicated partners on the local, state and national levels, the CBF’s advocacy and community leadership extends well beyond the borders of Cook County, along with its impact.

A good example […]

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April 24, 2018

CBF Goes to Washington: Legal Aid Funding, Student Debt and Immigration

Leaders from the CBF again traveled to Washington D.C. earlier this month along with representatives from the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) and American Bar Association as part of the ABA’s annual ABA Day in Washington. Each year, Congress considers legislation and budget issues that impact access to justice, the court system, and the legal profession. That’s why it is vital that leaders in our legal community in Chicago, and elsewhere in Illinois, engage with our members of Congress on important issues impacting access to justice for Illinois residents.

This year we focused our efforts on three important access to justice issues: funding for the Legal Services Corporation, maintaining the Public Service Loan Forgiveness and income-based forgiveness programs as part of broader student debt reforms, and continuation of two proven programs recently suspended by the Department of Justice: legal orientation programs (LOP) for immigrants in detention and help desks in the immigration court in Chicago and elsewhere in the country.

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September 7, 2017

Support the DREAM Act

President Trump’s decision this week to end the DACA program leaves thousands of young people who have done nothing wrong in legal limbo. These dreamers are making huge contributions to our economy, our communities, and our country. The bipartisan DREAM Act fixes this crucial flaw in our nation’s broken immigration laws by creating a legal path for these young people to gain permanent legal status and continue contributing to their communities. Please contact Senator Durbin and thank him for his leadership in cosponsoring the DREAM Act, and encourage Senator Duckworth and your local Representative in Congress to support the Act (S.1615/H.R. 3440), which promotes our nation’s core values and the rule of law.

Take Action

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February 28, 2017

Immigration and Access to Justice: A Much Bigger Problem Than It Needs to Be

People come to America for the same basic reasons now as they have from the time of our nation’s founding: to seek economic opportunity and the American dream, to join their families, or to flee persecution or terror. We truly are a nation of immigrants, and from the start of our country to today, immigrants have played integral roles in our economy and in our communities.

Even if we had a well thought out and well-functioning immigration system that reflects these fundamental truths which no rational observer would mistake our current system for immigrants would have some unique needs for legal help, and many would also face additional challenges due to the language and cultural barriers they often confront.* Unfortunately, however, immigrants face far greater access to justice challenges today because we have a broken immigration system. These added challenges are unnecessary and ultimately counterproductive for all concerned, and expanding immigration enforcement without fixing the underlying systemic flaws will only make things worse.

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February 27, 2017

Promoting Justice and Due Process for Immigrants for Over 30 Years

Growing up in El Salvador, sisters Maria and Ana lived in constant fear. A gang had forcibly recruited the older sister by threatening to harm the younger sister. On top of that, both siblings suffered significant child abuse from a family member. The sisters fled the country and sought safety in the U.S. Once in the Chicago area, they were connected with the National Immigrant Justice Center, one of the many outstanding organizations you support through the Investing in Justice Campaign. NIJC’s staff spent extensive time earning the children’s trust and learning their story. With NIJC’s legal assistance, Maria and Ana were granted asylum and can now begin their recovery in the United States.

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February 24, 2017

Immigration Pro Bono Opportunities

Interested in learning more about the ever-changing landscape of immigration-related pro bono opportunities? Check out Illinois Legal Aid Online’s roundup of volunteer opportunities assisting Chicago’s immigrant and refugee populations. You can also get trained on deportation defense on Thursday, March 16, 1:00-5:30 at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law.

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February 23, 2017

Dina Merrell Elected to GCIR Board of Directors

Dina Merrell, Associate Director for the CBF, was recently elected to the Board of Directors for Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees (GCIR), a national organization of foundations and grantmaking programs from throughout the country. Other new members joining the GCIR Board with Dina include Evan Bacalao from the Open Society Foundations, Shawn Morehead from the New York Community Trust, and Luna Yasui of the Ford Foundation. Congratulations, Dina!

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January 23, 2017

Take Action: Voice Your Support for the BRIDGE Act

Join us in thanking Senator Durbin for his leadership in introducing the bipartisan BRIDGE Act, which would protect young people who stepped forward to receive protection under DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) from deportation if the program is discontinued. If you are in Representative Luis Gutierrez’s district, please thank him as well for introducing the companion bill in the House, or encourage your Representative to join them to support this critical piece of legislation.

Contact Your Legislator

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November 11, 2015

Examining Prosecutorial Discretion in Deportation

Prosecutorial discretion has long been part of our legal system, including in the immigration context. A case from the 1970s involving John Lennon marked the first time that the administration’s prosecutorial discretion policy became public knowledge, despite its use going back to past administrations. Today, the concept of prosecutorial discretion is more widely known in […]

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April 21, 2015

CBF Represents at ABA Day

Last week, attorneys and staff members representing the CBA and CBF, the Illinois State Bar Association, the American Bar Association, and the Illinois Supreme Court traveled to Washington D.C. to participate in ABA Day, the ABA’s annual advocacy event in Washington. Each year, Congress considers legislation that impacts access to justice, the justice system, and the legal profession. That’s why it’s vital that leaders in our legal community in Chicago and elsewhere in Illinois participate in ABA Day each year, cutting through the noise of other special interests and educating Congress on important issues impacting access to justice for Illinois residents.

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