Immigration | WGLT

Immigration

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

President Donald Trump’s reversal of the Obama-era executive order protecting young undocumented immigrants from deportation has sparked debate in the Bloomington-Normal community.

Dania De La Hoya / WGLT

Local opponents of President Donald Trump’s decision to end an Obama-era program for young immigrants turned up the volume Thursday, with new protests planned over the next few days.

Dania De La Hoya / WGLT

At least two significant demonstrations were sparked Tuesday in Bloomington-Normal after President Donald Trump's decision to wind down a program protecting young immigrants from deportation.

The Associated Press

Normal Mayor Chris Koos is lending his support to a national effort by mayors to allow so-called Dreamers—young people who were brought to this country without documents as children—to remain here legally.

Illinois People's Action Facebook Page

A coalition of Bloomington-Normal social justice groups is organizing a phone campaign to urge Gov. Bruce Rauner to sign a bill that would prevent local and state police from stopping, searching or arresting residents based on their immigration or citizenship status.

Julien Harnels / Flickr

Like many Americans, Gretchen Snow  was horrified at the photos of a drowned Syrian refugee child who washed up on the shores of Greece. Then there were the images of African families fleeing violence in their villages, walking on dirt roads, children in tow and their  belongings on their backs.

Snow decided she had to act. She was not alone.

Bruce Emmerling / Creative Commons

Recent political rhetoric aside, the majority of immigrants living in the US. come here legally, and each has a compelling story to tell. Those are among the messages members of Bloomington-Normal's immigrant communities hope to convey at a conversation Thursday evening at Bloomington Public Library.

East Indian, Mexican, Caribbean and Latin American immigrants will share their personal stories.

Gail Franklin / Western Avenue Community Center

Many social service workers burn out long before the quarter century mark. Not so Socorro Alvarez, the Hispanic Outreach director for the past 25 years at Bloomington's Western Avenue Community Center.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

The Mayor of Normal is not enthusiastic about a formal welcoming cities ordinance. Area groups marched on Bloomington City Hall this week asking for an ordinance to limit local government cooperation with federal immigration and customs enforcement, or ICE.

Mayor Chris Koos of Normal said he supports keeping immigrant families together, but not through that method.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Hundreds of demonstrators marched from the old courthouse building to Bloomington City hall singing and chanting.

"Ice in our drinks but nowhere else," and "Immigrants are welcome here. No hate. No fear," they called out.

Sophia Tareen / AP

The Illinois Senate Executive Committee has endorsed wide-ranging protections for immigrants in response to President Donald Trump's crackdown on people in the U.S. illegally.

Staff / WGLT

Illinois People's Action and local faith leaders are calling for the Bloomington and Normal councils to keep families together. 

IPA held a news conference at Bloomington's Unitarian Universalist Church Thursday focusing on a welcoming ordinance for the Twin Cities. 

Google Images

Illinois State University is not officially a "sanctuary campus," but plans to remain a safe haven for undocumented students.

That's according to education administration Professor Beth Hatt and Latin American studies Director Maura Toro-Morn. The two are co-founders of CAUSA, the Committee Assisting Undocumented Student Achievement.

Jon Norton / WGLT

The recent immigration directives from the Trump administration and Department of Homeland Security widened the net of undocumented people in the U.S. considered a priority for deportation. Immigration  attorney Charlotte Alvarez said that is changing how she offers advice.

"We're advising anyone who is undocumented to seek legal counselor to see if there's any options for adjusting or changing their status," said Alvarez. 

Judith Valente

By the time Jenn Carrillo crossed into the U.S. illegally from Mexico,  her family had already tried for years to to obtain legal status.

The family's original petition was filed in 1996. That application is still pending.

"We still haven't heard back from that petition. I can look it up and track it and see where it is in the stack," Carrillo, who came here at age 10, said on GLT's Sound Ideas.

"For a lot of us, there is no legal remedy."

Alisdare Hickson/Creative Commons

"Even though I don't have documents, this is my country and I will do whatever to defend it," said a 30-year-old undocumented immigrant who wants to be called Victor because he fears being deported under new Trump administration policies.

Illinois State University

We're currently in a time of tumult, anger, and fear over immigration in this country.

This figured prominently during the presidential campaign and continues with the deportation enforcement policy of the Trump administration.

Staff / WGLT

McLean County Sheriff Jon Sandage said he is not seeing a big change in immigration enforcement yet from the Trump Administration.

President Trump has made border security and deportation of undocumented immigrants a centerpiece of his policy.

Illinois State University

In this time of tension over immigration here is an example of how one group of Latinos created its own sense of community and belonging in a town in rural Indiana.

Staff / WGLT

Illinois State University is fielding a lot of questions from international students concerned about the Trump Administration executive orders on immigration and visa enforcement.

About ten ISU students come from the seven countries specifically banned in the Executive order. Others from those nations have also been accepted for admission to ISU in the fall.

Logo with three women cheek against cheek and details about the Women's March on Washington D.C. Jan. 1
Courtesy of Instagram

Voters upset with the election of Donald Trump have been finding ways to direct their anger either through Facebook pages, personal blogs, even filing petitions for local offices.  A big display will come the day after President-elect Trump is sworn in with the Women’s March on Washington, aimed at making sure the new administration knows women's rights are human rights.

Staff / WGLT

Elections are always polarizing. Elections are always bruising.

But, a Normal Community High School Teacher said this is the most extreme he has seen and one that has had a pronounced effect on students.

Creative Commons

Immigration reform has risen and died many times over the terms of the last two Presidents. It's front and center this year with Donald Trump's insistence on building a wall on the border with Mexico.

Three years ago, the Senate passed a bill with 14 Republicans crossing the aisle in favor of comprehensive immigration policy change. The House did nothing with the bill and and the issue went dormant, not for the first time in recent memory.

Cyndee Brown / ISU Theater

 The hot topic of child immigration takes center stage in a play that takes reality and spins a web of fantasy around it. Illinois State University theater professor Cyndee Brown is the director of Bocon!, and talks about how fantasy can be a great way to explore troubling current events.

*The young hero of the play is forced to become on of the many unaccompanied minors who are fleeing their native land and heading to a new life in the United States.

More than half the country’s Governors don’t want Syrian refugees to resettle in their state. The backlash follows a possible link between the refugees and the Paris terror attacks.

Illinois Immigrant rights groups and advocates are blasting Gov. Bruce Rauner's decision to temporarily stop accepting new Syrian refugees in Illinois in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in Paris.  

The Arab American Action Network says the decision creates a "fictitious link" between those fleeing war and violence and those responsible for the deadly attacks. The group says it also fuels racist stereotypes.  

The Organized Communities Against Deportations wants Rauner to reconsider.  

Demonstrator holds sign
Elvert Barnes / Flickr

The Immigration Project is marking 20 years of serving immigrants throughout central Illinois and parts of southern Illinois. To meet an increasing caseload, the group recently opened a satellite office in Champaign.