Wednesday, May 11, 2016

April 2016 Working Group Summaries

APRIL 2016 Working Group Summaries
Secure Communities 2.0 Working Group On April 26, 2016, S.Comms 2.0 had a meeting with ICE representatives to officially record straight from the source what ICE procedures look like, to learn some of the organizational workings of ICE and on sharing grievances of community members. Where do you go to pick people up? Do you pick up unaccompanied minors? How do we report abuses? These are some of the questions we asked.  At the May 2016 Forum, a member of the working group will talk with the public about the local ICE meeting and present about facts about ICE, nationally and locally.  
Immigrant Friendly Communities Working Group
Several members of the Friendlies working group attended the Welcoming America’s Welcoming Interactive Conference from April 19 through the 21st. We made some great connections and are looking forward to convening soon to talk about what we took away from the conference and start thinking about a timeline for planning Welcoming Week. We will also receive an invitation to attend an interagency retreat slated for June 11, 2016, which is organized by Latino Partnership of Champaign County in partnership with CU Immigration Forum. We plan to meet at the beginning of the summer to continue the work that we would like to be funded next year by the Gateways for Growth grant. We will plan to meet at the beginning of the summer to move forward with building and implementing welcoming strategies locally.
Unaccompanied Minors Working Group
Challenges continue with difficulty in gathering information and coordinating social services for unaccompanied minors to get health care, receive food during school breaks and concern expressed with summer approaching. We have recently decided to start setting aside a time that works for the students to meet during school lunch and study hall once a month to assist students with ongoing casework. We still need volunteers to assist with driving students to Chicago. We also need to find reliable and honest Q'anjob'al translators. We have verified that immigration court does not provide translators for Asylum court/interviews so all of the students applying for asylum will need to hire a translator for their interview.
IF Student & Volunteer Group
The IF Student & Volunteer group is planning another KYR workshop to take place in Champaign at the end of June 2016. The Children's Orpheum is willing to provide private space at that time. Once we have the date set we will start outreach activities. We will be building upon the workshop by following up with the families at the two workshops to provide an opportunity to survey and outline patterns of issues that families discuss. We will also identify and reach out to gatekeepers to build relationships and identify issues. This will lay the groundwork to organize communities in fighting ICE raids and mapping out concerns that will greatly inform establishing and implementing welcoming strategies locally.


If you are interested in joining a working group of the CU Immigration Forum, please contact us at info@cuimmigrationforum.org or send us a message on Facebook. The CU Immigration Forum also hosts monthly forums on the second Tuesday of every month at 5:00pm at the University YMCA. ALL are welcome to attend.

March 2016 Working Group Summaries

Secure Communities 2.0 Working Group
The S-Comm 2.0 group this past week had a visit from Virginia Raymond, an attorney in Austin, TX working in detention centers. This was part of a project with U of I students organized by Gilberto Rosas and Kora Maldonado. Alli and a few volunteers spoke with workers at the hog plant in Rantoul, several of them described incidents of ICE forcing themselves into homes early in the morning, sometimes at the wrong address, and searching through rooms, including children's rooms. We're trying to set up a meeting with ICE that will probably be in late April.

Immigrant Friendly Communities Working Group
The group has been incorporating the more than one story card game at the beginning of each monthly forum and encouraging structures that support discussion and dialogue at these forums. Several members of the Friendlies working group will be attending Welcoming America’s Welcoming Interactive Conference from April 19 through the 21st. We look forward to bringing back new connections, strategies and tactics to move the work forward. We will also receive an invitation to attend an interagency retreat slated for June 11, 2016, which is organized by Latino Partnership of Champaign County in partnership with CU Immigration Forum. We plan to meet at the beginning of the summer to continue the work that we would like to be funded next year by the Gateways for Growth grant. We will plan to meet at the beginning of the summer to move forward with building and implementing welcoming strategies locally.

Unaccompanied Minors Working Group
The Unaccompanied Minors Working Group has been working hard to assist unaccompanied students with legal representation, transportation to court hearings in Chicago, to connect students to community services. This past month, Alli and Lucia have taken students to Chicago several times. Challenges continue with difficulty in gathering information and coordinating social services for unaccompanied minors to get health care, receive food during school breaks and concern expressed with summer approaching. We have made a connection with a pro bono attorney to assist in establishing guardianship, so that students receive better coordination of services. The issue is largely handing over the responsibilities of sponsors who neglect student needs. We’ve also coordinated volunteers from La Linea to resource map legal firms who specialize in asylum and deportation defense. The group continues to work with Immigration Project for students to receive initial consultations for possible representation.

IF Student & Volunteer Group
This working group has been collaborating with the Secure Communities 2.0 working group to help promote and organize the Know Your Rights workshop held in Rantoul this past month. The student/volunteer group met to organize the KYR workshop, coordinate volunteers, and reach out to families about the workshop. We will be building upon the workshop by following up with the families at the two workshops to provide an opportunity to survey and outline patterns of issues that families discuss. We will also identify and reach out to gatekeepers to build relationships and identify issues. This will lay the groundwork to organize communities in fighting ICE raids and mapping out concerns that will greatly inform establishing and implementing welcoming strategies locally.

If you are interested in joining a working group of the CU Immigration Forum, please contact us at info@cuimmigrationforum.org or send us a message on Facebook. The CU Immigration Forum also hosts monthly forums on the second Tuesday of every month at 5:00pm at the University YMCA. ALL are welcome to attend.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Statement Against Racist Backlash on the UIUC campus

As an organization dedicated to creating a community that is more inclusive and immigrant friendly, the CU Immigration Forum would like to take this opportunity to condemn the provocative chalk writings that have been appearing around the campus recently, and their blatantly anti-feminist, Muslim, Black, and Latin@ sentiments, as well as the racist Facebook group which also surfaced around the same time.

As its name suggests, the CU Immigration Forum was created with a belief that dialogue is key to fostering communication and building ties within the community. Only through sharing our stories and creating a positive atmosphere for interaction do we create the potential for understanding one another, and so a belief in the power of speech and an open exchange of thoughts and ideas is a foundational aspect of our organization.

These writings however, pervert this process and use speech as a weapon. Their intent is to assault, and violence does not build, it only destroys, so it is the violent intent of the words that were chosen and the placement of those messages that we wish to condemn in the strongest possible terms.


We at the CU Immigration Forum believe that our community is at its best when we stand, work, and dream together, and we therefore join with the many other campus and community organizations who categorically reject these crude attempts at exclusion and intimidation.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Move For The Movement! Fundraiser To Support IF

MOVE FOR THE MOVEMENT

Dine & Dance to Support the CU Immigration Forum

[ February 27, 2016] The CU Immigration Forum (IF) invites you to come out and dance or learn how in support of their work in the community on Saturday, February 27th at the University YMCA. Attendees will enjoy an afternoon of Salsa, Bachata, and Cumbia dance instruction led by local professional Latin dance instructors, Shawn Mendez and Uli Ayala. Catered lunch will be served. 100% of the proceeds support IF’s initiative of promoting permanent and positive changes that will improve the quality of life for immigrants in our community.

The CU Immigration Forum is a community non-profit organization of immigrants, clergy, service providers, labor and business representatives, students, residents and community groups concerned about the progress of immigrants in Champaign County. Your generous contributions will directly support our grassroots organization that serves local immigrant communities and advocates for just and humane treatment of all immigrants.

Tickets are on sale now for $45 or $30 for students by online reservation or in person at the University YMCA, 1001 S. Wright Street in Champaign, IL. Please make checks payable to “CU Immigration Forum.”
To purchase a ticket online, please click this link to view the reservation form: https://app.etapestry.com/onlineforms/YMCAoftheUniversityofIlli/IF-FUNDRAISER.html.

Can’t make it to the event, but would like to support? You may donate to the CU Immigration Forum, by following this link to IF’s secure online donation form: http://immigration-forum.blogspot.com/p/support.html. The CU Immigration Forum is a registered 501(c)3 organization. Your gift is tax deductible to the extent allowed by the law.

Where: The event will take place at the University YMCA in the K Rooms (downstairs), located at 1001 S. Wright Street, Champaign, Illinois on the University of Illinois campus.

Program: The Move for the Movement fundraiser for the CU Immigration Forum will begin with catered lunch at 1:00pm followed by Salsa dance instruction from 2:00pm to 3:00pm, and closing with Bachata and Cumbia dance instruction from 3:30pm to 5:00pm.



Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Apoyando Sabino, Supporting Sabino


Please consider helping, Sabino Vazquez, a wonderful wonderful member of our CU community during his battle with cancer. Por favor considere ayudar, Sabino Vazquez, un miembro mavavilloso de nuestra comunidad durante su batalla con cáncer. 

 https://www.gofundme.com/SaveSabino

Sabino Vazquez, 40 years old, the husband of Maura and father of 5 children was diagnosed with colon cancer 3 years ago. Sabino was born in Atoyac Guerrero, Mexico and came to the United States over 16 years ago. He travelled alongside his wife Maura and their 3 children. The couple had 2 more children in Champaign and their youngest is 8 years old. 

Sabino has been receiving medical treatment, but unfortunately the cancer has spread to his lungs. The health services at Carle are covered under the Community Care Program, but his medicine is not. The Vazquez family spends over $1,000 a month on his medicine and other needs that are not covered by Carle. The family holds onto hope as they search for cancer treatments that can cure Sabino's health. 

If you personally know Sabino, you understand and love his cheerful energy, optimism, and friendliness toward everyone. He strives to provide the best for his family. The cancer has certainly been a great test for Sabino and his family, but they continue to fight every day. 

We are asking our community, friends, and family to help and provide support to Sabino's family during this hardship. All of the proceeds will immediately pay for Sabino's medicine and cancer treatments. His treatments require daily expenses that are not covered. Your support for Sabino will relieve pain and help maintain the faith of his family while they still search for treatments that can save him. We are so grateful for your support and love for Sabino and his family. Thank you. 

Sabino Vázquez, hombre Mexicano de 40 años de edad, casado con Maura y padre de cinco hijos fue diagnosticado con cáncer de colon hace 3 años. Sabino es originario de Atoyac Guerrero y emigro a los Estados Unidos hace 16 años con su esposa y tres de sus hijos. Ya en Estados Unidos ellos tuvieron dos hijos mas, el mas pequeño tiene 8 años de edad. 

Desde que recibió el primer diagnostico de cáncer hace 3 años, Sabino ha estado recibiendo tratamiento medico pero desafortunadamente el cáncer se ha expandido a sus pulmones. Los servicios médicos que Sabino esta recibiendo ahora en Carle están cubiertos por el plan comunitario del hospital pero la familia de Sabino debe pagar todos los medicamentos. La familia esta gastando cerca de $1,000 mensuales entre gastos de medicamento y buscando otros métodos alternativos que les ayuden a mantener la esperanza de una curación.

Quienes lo conocen saben que Sabino es un hombre muy alegre, optimista y muy amigable aparte de ser un hombre muy trabajador quien siempre esta luchando por darle lo mejor a su familia. Esta enfermedad sin duda ha sido una gran prueba para Sabino y su familia pero el sigue luchando cada día contra ella. 

La familia de Sabino esta pidiendo ayuda y apoyo a nuestra comunidad, amigos y familiares. Todas las donaciones irán directamente para ayudar a Sabino con su tratamiento. Sabino esta sufriendo de dolores muy fuertes y la medicina para controlarle el dolor es muy necesaria. Su apoyo aliviara el dolor de Sabino y ayudara a mantener la fe de su familia mientras siguen buscando algún método o tratamiento que pueda salvarlo. Les agradecemos infinitamente su apoyo y amor hacia Sabino y su familia.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

#GivingTuesday #ILGIVE National Day of Giving

Join the celebration of generosity by participating in ‪#‎GivingTuesday‬‪#‎ILGIVE‬ and donate to CU Immigration Forum! Today community leaders, nonprofits, businesses, donors, families, and foundations around the world give back on the national day of giving Tuesday, December 1st. Thank you all for your continued support. We are so excited to announce our 501c3 community nonprofit status last month and grow with our community! Please click on our "support" page if you wish to donate: http://immigration-forum.blogspot.com/p/support.html


Sunday, November 8, 2015

Clothing / $ Drive for Students in CU -- from Guatemala

The CU Immigration Forum is hosting a clothing drive for students from Guatemala who are in Champaign-Urbana alone. In 2014, over 68,000 children from Central America crossed the US Mexico border alone. Several of these children are here in our community. The students in Urbana left Guatemala to escape poverty, violence, and crime. They live independently and support themselves and have to pay for expensive legal representation to support their asylum cases. We hope to provide warm clothes for the upcoming winter months. 

We are collecting winter coats, winter boots, hats, gloves, scarves, and sweaters. Sizes ranging from small and medium adult shirts, medium jackets, 28-30 pants, and 7-8 shoes. Also one younger child who is size 12 pants, medium children's jacket & shirts, and size 5 shoes. 

You can drop off clothes at 1001 S. Wright St. in Champaign, IL from 9am-8pm Nov. 7th - Nov. 14th. If you wish to donate money please click on our "support" tab on our website. Thank you so much for your support!