CHICAGO–(ENEWSPF)–November 25, 2014. Mayor Rahm Emanuel today welcomed President Obama to Chicago and announced that the City is working with community partners and City departments, including the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP), Chicago Public Library and Chicago Public Schools (CPS), to disseminate information about the President’s recent executive actions on immigration, protect consumers from fraudulent immigration service providers, and assist tens of thousands of people to take advantage of administrative relief.
“Today we welcome President Obama to Chicago and applaud him for taking executive action that will not only bring relief to families across the Country and Chicago, but will also provide many individuals the opportunity to pursue their dreams and continue to contribute to our city and economy,” said Mayor Emanuel. “For months now we have been preparing for administrative relief and are committed to making Chicago the gold standard that achieves record numbers of relief, ensuring that as many residents as possible take advantage of this opportunity.”
“We are proud of the diversity of our immigrant community from hundreds of nations across the globe and of their contributions to Chicago’s unique culture and work ethic,” said Congressman Luis V. Gutiérrez. “From the Mayor on down, we are committed to making the President’s immigration actions work in the City of Chicago and we have been engaging clergy, colleges, universities, schools, business and community groups to get ready. While he is here, I bet the President will get a sense for how hungry we are for the changes he announced and how hard we are going to work to make them a success.”
For the past few months the Emanuel Administration has been working with immigration leaders from community based organizations, legal service providers, colleges and universities, as well as labor, government, faith-based and business institutions to discuss how the City of Chicago would prepare to help tens of thousands of people take advantage of administrative relief. Now that President Obama has announced a series of executive actions that modify immigration policy, the City has been working with Departments to help implement these new programs.
Through a partnership with Chicago Public Libraries, government entities such as U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and various community organizations, the City of Chicago has built an infrastructure that allows staff and City departments to respond to the immigrant community’s needs. Many of the same organizations that are gearing up to provide services on administrative relief already counsel the immigrant community and provide information and workshops on the naturalization process, as well as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, at Citizenship Corners at select Chicago Public Library locations. The City is working to amplify existing efforts to ensure these organizations continue to have access to City spaces, such as libraries and schools, and other resources they need to better support the immigrant community in taking advantage of administrative relief.
To ensure that members of the immigrant community are not taken advantage of by fraudulent activity, the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) is strengthening its immigration fraud enforcement campaign. For the past two years, the City has cracked down on fraudulent immigration assistance providers by launching sting operations targeting businesses accused of deceptive and predatory practices. Since President Obama announced his executive actions on immigration, the Mayor and Commissioner of BACP have issued a letter to licensed Immigration Assistance Providers listing their responsibilities as licensees and reminding them that the City enforces the law. BACP has also created and distributed flyers informing residents of their rights as consumers and important information they should know before paying for immigration services.
A critical part of ensuring that people can take advantage of Administrative Relief includes providing the documentation to establish one’s identify, family ties, and presences in the U.S. When Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) was first announced, cities across the country were inundated with requests for school transcripts to prove that children had been in school. The City of Chicago has since worked with the Chicago Public School Systems, local legal service providers and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to streamline this process, train staff who produce the transcripts to get them out faster, and draft a one-page document explaining how to read and understand the transcripts for legal service providers and USCIS.
The City is part of the IL is ready Campaign, which convened community organizations, government partners, and legal service providers and immigrant advocacy organizations for several months to create the infrastructure necessary to quickly and accurately disseminate information, conduct trainings, and coordinate legal services for those that may benefit from the President’s executive actions.
“We look forward to partnering with the Mayor’s office in educating and referring those eligible to the services they need,” said Lawrence Benito, CEO ICIRR. “As we continue to fight for permanent solutions in Congress and for those immigrants left out of the President’s executive action.”
To educate communities about administrative relief, the City’s Office of New Americans website has been updated to include content on President Obama’s Executive actions, and various City departments have disseminated this information on their social media platform. 311 City Services and Chicago Public Libraries are also prepared to answer questions regarding the President’s executive actions on immigration from local residents.
On November 20, 2014, President Barack Obama announced a series of executive actions that would modify immigration policy by focusing the enforcement resources of the federal government on criminals and allow certain undocumented immigrants to temporarily stay in the U.S. without fear of deportation.
For more information about Administrative Relief, please visit: http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/mayor/supp_info/information-about-president-obamas-immigration-accountability-ex.html