Tuesday, January 20, 2015

JANUARY 2015 Newsletter

JANUARY 2015 Newsletter

Please join us for the 
2015 C-U Immigration Forum Retreat!

  When: Saturday, February 7th from 2pm to 5pm 

Where: University YMCA,1001 S. Wright St, Champaign (Corner of Wright & Chalmers)  

Parking is available behind the building. Refreshments will be served. 

What: Help us to plan and execute programs for making Champaign-Urbana the most immigrant friendly community in Illinois. 


Why: We can do it with your help!
Hope to see you there!

DAPA* Orientation Sessions 
*Deferred Action for Parental Accountability
Tuesday, January 27 from 6pm to 8pm
Urbana Civic Center 
108 E. Water St. | Urbana, IL 61801 

Tuesday, March 10 from 6pm to 8pm
Urbana Civic Center 
108 E. Water St. | Urbana, IL 61801
These DAPA orientation sessions are a good opportunity to get your questions answered about the process by a legal representative and to receive updates. If you attended theDAPA information session on December 2nd at the Urbana Middle School, you do not need to attend the session on January 27 unless you would like to talk to a lawyer. However, on March 10th, please attend as this will be a workshop that will help you prepare for the application process.
DACA* Application & Renewal Clinic
*Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

Thursday, January 29, 2015
from 5pm to 8pm
Stratton Elementary School
( In the Library)
902 N. Randolph St. Champaign, IL

Make an appointment* for this event by calling the La Linea helpline at 217-417-5897.

*People with appointments will be preferred. People without appointments are welcome to get more information but cannot be not guaranteed service at the event.

There will be another DACAworkshop in early March after the new application comes out late February 2015. Please review the new requirements under Administrative Relief for this new application (See PDF flyer). 
If you are already eligible for the current requirements or your Employment Authorization Document card expires in approximately 4 to 5 months (during the summer), please make an appointment to attend the January 29th workshop. 
Questions? Need to make an appointment? Call La Linea at 217-417-5897.   

Volunteer Opportunity!

Would you like to assist permanent residents in learning more about U.S. Citizenship and taking the next steps?

On Saturday, March 21, 2015 our partners, the New Americans Initiative team, will host a citizenship workshop to assist people with applying for US Citizenship and they need your help to prepare for this important event! 

Volunteer opportunities include: 
Application Preparation, Meeting & Greeting, Floor Managing, Table Registration, Community Resourcing & More!

Some training is required depending on your volunteer interest.

If your are interested in volunteering, please contact the New Americans Initiative Team today at  217-337-1500 or email us at 
For more information about the New Americans Initiative program, please download the following program flyer (NAI Program Flyer.pdf

Like us on Facebook   Visit our blog    
These events are held in collaboration with the following organizations:


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Monday, December 15, 2014

DAPA Orientation Thursday, December 18th at 5:00pm

What is Administrative Relief?

On November 20th, the President took action on Immigration Reform. This Thursday, we will not only have an opportunity to learn more about how certain aspects of Administrative Relief will be implemented, but also how to prepare people locally for the application processes.

On Thursday, December 18th, our partners at the Immigration Project will provide an orientation on Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) at 5:00pm at Oscar Romero Parish Center, 207 N. Wright Street, Champaign.  This orientation is a good opportunity to get any questions you may have about DAPA answered by a legal representative.  

DAPA Orientation
Thursday, December 18th at 5:00pm
Oscar Romero Parish Center
(Community building next to St. Mary's)
207 N. Wright Street
Champaign, IL 61820

Questions? Email the New Americans Initiative team at:

Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA):
Certain parents of sons or daughters who are US citizens or permanent residents (green card holders) will be able to apply for "deferred action"
  • Entered the US before January 1, 2010
  • Were present in the US on November 20, 2014
  • Do not fall within ICE enforcement priorities
  • DAPA would be valid for three years
  • DAPA recipients could get work permits and could apply to travel outside the US
  • DAPA will cost $465 (same as DACA)
The application period will start by late May (within 180 days of the President's announcement)

More information about Administrative Relief here: 
Admin Relief Informational Flyer (English PDFSpanish PDF)


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Sesión Informativa acerca del Alivio Migratorio Administrativo del Presidente Obama
¿Te interesa saber quien califica para la nueva acción diferida que anuncio el
Presidente Obama el pasado 20 de noviembre? ¿Cómo puedes ir preparándote para aplicar?
Esto es lo que sabemos acerca de los nuevos procesos:
  • Una nueva acción diferida para los padres (DAPA por sus siglas en inglés) permitirá que personas indocumentadas que tienen un hijo o hija que sean ciudadanos o residentes legales permanentes, soliciten un permiso de trabajo y protección de deportación si la persona ha estado en los EE.UU. desde el 1 de enero del 2010. Se estima que 4.1 millones de personas podrían calificar para este programa.
  • El programa existente de acción diferida a los llegados en la infancia (DACA por sus siglas en inglés) se ampliará y cubrirá a las personas que entraron a los EE.UU. antes de tener 16 años y que han vivido continuamente en los EE.UU. desde el 1 de enero del 2010. Las personas que anteriormente no calificaban por tener más de 31 años el 15 de junio del 2012, ahora pueden aplicar, sin importar su edad. Aproximadamente 300,000 personas podrían aprovechar estos cambios.
  • Ciertos cónyuges e hijos de residentes legales permanentes, así como los hijos adultos de ciudadanos de EE.UU., que están aplicando para obtener su residencia legal permanente ("green card") a través de un consulado fuera de EE.UU., podrán obtener aprobación de su aplicación por adelantado dentro de los EE.UU. antes de salir del país por medio de un perdón provisional. Los cónyuges de ciudadanos estadounidenses pueden ya solicitar este perdón dentro del país.
  • El C-U Immigration Forum va a comenzar su campaña de información
Cuándo : Martes 2 de diciembre
Donde: Urbana Middle School
Hora: 6:00  pm
¡Ven e infórmate!
Por ti, por tu familia y por tu comunidad.
Facebook: CU Amigos / Friends
Urbana School District: Lucia Maldonado / / 217.531.7162
Para Los Llegados en La Infancia *DACA*

DACA Workshop: Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014 from 5:00PM to 8:00PM at Urbana Middle School. Call La Línea today for more information: (217) 417-5897.

Si Usted, algún familiar o amigo cumple con los requisitos de la DACA, puede ser elegible para un permiso de trabajo, su número de seguro social, su licencia de manejo y, sobre todo, NO deportación.

 Taller de DACA
(ayuda con la solicitud para applicar o la renovación de DACA)

Martes, 2 de Diciembre
Urbana Middle School (sala de informàtica)
1201 S. Vine Street, Urbana, IL 61801

Llame a La Línea 217-417-5897

*Personas con citas tendrán serán atendidas primero. Personas sin citas seran atendidas como haya tiempo. 

*Favor de asistir para recibir información.

This event is in collaboration with the following organizations:

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Prospective Americans welcome presidential and congressional action

Press Release:
For Immediate Release
November  19, 2014

For media inquiries, contact: Ricardo Diaz 217-979-0255,

Prospective Americans welcome presidential and congressional action
On the eve of an announcement by President Obama

[Champaign, IL] The president's action today is a necessary intervention in the stalemate over reforming our broken immigration system and, more importantly, it is good news for the hundreds of thousands of families whose lives have been adversely affected by the threat of deportation.

In June of 2013, a bipartisan Senate passed S.744, a comprehensive immigration reform bill, and yet since that time the House leadership has refused to even bring it to a vote, much less offer any serious alternative proposals, so at this point any steps to improve the system - even temporarily - are steps in the right direction.

In spite of the best efforts of many good people on both sides of the aisle, immigration reform has been turned into a partisan issue regardless of the fact that the benefits of comprehensive immigration reform are to be shared across the political spectrum. Agriculture, business and labor all share the benefits when the economy grows, and immigrants don't exist in a vacuum, they have bosses, friends, families and co-workers who do vote and who are also affected by and concerned with what is said and done on this issue. As such neighbors and residents of Illinois, we call on all of our representatives to take the opportunity to remedy the situation for all residents and to not co-mingle issues to the point of paralysis. Thus, it is our hope that this move by the Democratic president will motivate the new Republican majority to pass a permanent comprehensive immigration reform bill.

In the meantime, the CU Immigration Forum stands ready to assist local residents prepare to apply for this temporary relief, and to that end we've scheduled the following:

2014 Prospective American Information event
Dec. 2nd at 6 to 8 PM
Urbana Middle School

Members of the Immigration Forum with support with experts from the Immigration Project will detail the options of the announced program. We strongly urge the communities of immigrants NOT to contract with individuals that charge for information of supposed paperwork.  As attorney Jack Wilkie warns, “it is unfortunate but during times of important announcements on immigration, some individuals take advantage to prey upon the vulnerabilities of those that haven’t yet received correct information.”

Background: The CU Immigration Forum comprises of a broad cross section of community members, students, and local service providers. They meet once a month regularly to discuss and act on immigration and serving local immigrant communities.  For more information, including a full list of other events to inform the public on the presidential announcement, please visit


On what the parties are arguing about:

On fraud prevention:



Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Congratulations to the 2014 Immigrant Welcome Award Winners

Thanks to everyone who came out to the Immigrant Welcome Awards Ceremony!
Congratulations to the Award winners!

Pictured left to right: Pastor Guy Lombela, Ricardo Carillo, Guadalupe Abreu
accepting on behalf of ECIRMAC, Allison Peraz Briseno, and Father Tom Royer.

The Immigrant Welcome Awards recognizes the contributions of individuals and organizations that have created a welcoming atmosphere for immigrants in the Champaign-Urbana community. The CU Immigration Forum has created the Immigrant Welcome Awards to celebrate the accomplishments of the following individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions, taken risks, and have provided leadership for the wellbeing and success of immigrants in Champaign County.

2014 Immigrant Welcome Award Winners:

Student Leadership Award - student who has shown promise as an important leader in immigration issues, locally or beyond:

Allison Perez Briseno is a burgeoning leader in our community. She has participated in local immigration marches with her family and encourages other youth to chant and make an impact at these events. Most recently Allison presented Congressman Rodney Davis' Office with a father's day card where she spoke about the case of a close family member who was deported and the impact that had had on her family. She also shared that many kids at her school are living in constant fear of being separated from their parents. Allison is very young, but is already a strong leader!

Business Leadership Award - A business that contributes to the local immigrant community through advocacy, donations or in-kind services and/or a locally owned immigrant owned business that has contributed to the local economic development of CU:

Rick's Bakery - Despite having language barriers and a lack of understanding about what is needed to own a business in the US. Ricardo opened his own bakery in 2012. He frequently donates products to community and cultural events. In addition, he sells Mexican handcrafts and folk art at his Bakery. He sends the proceeds from the art sales back to his family in Mexico. Ricardo's hard work helps his community both here and abroad, contributes to the local economy, and provides a great example for others.

Leadership Award - An individual who has been a strong leader in the immigrant community.

Pastor Guy Lombela is a dedicated leader of the Congolese community and the Francophone African Communities in Champaign-Urbana. As a Pastor at Stone Creek Church, he does so much to find resources and services for families and individuals as well as creating safe spaces for people to talk about important community issues.

Distinguished Service Award - An individual who has demonstrated long-term commitment to the local immigrant community:

Father Tom Royer (Retired St. Mary's Church) has worked for immigrant rights, human rights and social justice for over 30 years. In the 1980s and 1990s he was a leader in the local Sanctuary movement, along with five other area churches. Since then he has welcomed political refugees and their families from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. His parish became a sister community to five small hamlets in rural El Salvador. At St. Mary's he organized times to offer mass in Spanish and also in a Mayan indigenous language. His motto is we work with immigrants not for them and we listen to their concerns.

Community Organization Award - A Nonprofit or community-based organization, which demonstrates exceptional commitment to serving and advocating for local immigrants:

East Central Illinois Refugee Mutual Assistance Center (ECIRMAC) has been serving refugees, immigrants, and political asylees in CU since 1980. They serve thousands of individuals and families every year. Ms. Ho and Ms. Hlavna are the driving force of the Center, but all of the staff have shown exemplary and sustained commitment to the refugee and immigrant community. They work day and night, and even on weekends.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

It's time to naturalize! Come get excited about it at the Naturalization Ceremony Oct 24th at the Urbana Federal Court house

Immigration Community Resource Fair 
Sponsored by the University YMCA, the Office of Public Engagement, 
Department of Human Resources, and the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant & Refugee Rights


Come visit us this Thursday at the University YMCA to learn more about community resources that serve immigrant families and international communities in CU.


At the fair, you will also be able to explore the various local community resources available for those seeking assistance and information about the citizenship and/or deferred action (DACA) process, such as:
  • Local free ESL resources
  • Legal services
  • Information about Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
  • Information about citizenship process 
  • Free assistance with citizenship test preparation 
  • healthcare resources
  • And many more!
As an added bonus to these resources, we will show you what application processes looks like and provide you a questionnaire and a list of the the necessary materials needed to start the citizenship process. For detailed assistance, schedule a one-on-one consultation to take place at the fairFree and open to the public. All are welcome.
Immigration Community Resource Fair
When: Thursday, October 16th, 2014
 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Where: University YMCA
 1001 S. Wright Street
 Latzer Hall (First Floor)

Participating organizations at the fair include: Champaign County Health Care Consumers, Champaign Unit 4 Schools, CU Immigration Forum, Department of Human Services, East Central Illinois Refugee Mutual Assistance Center, First Presbyterian Church of Champaign, Immigration Project, La Casa Cultural Latina, La Colectiva, University YMCA, Urbana Adult Education Center