Value Our Families op-ed: ” Attacks on immigration system are attacks on families”

Advancing Justice | Chicago senior organizer and Value Our Families campaign director Grace Pai wrote in the Peoria Journal Star about the Trump administration’s attacks on immigrant families and how the Reuniting Families Act can be part of the solution. Excerpt:

The Trump Administration’s racist crusade against families of color continued this month, creating fear among immigrants across the nation.

First, President Donald Trump ended both the Filipino World War II Veterans and Haitian Family Reunification programs. Then, he went after immigrants who seek to remain in the United States with their loved ones but whose modest financial resources would determine whether they have the right to stay.

Trump has redefined our legal, family-based immigration system to systematically disenfranchise low-income immigrant families of color and favor white and wealthy immigrants.

Read the full op-ed in the Peoria Journal Star. 

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Pritzker signs protections for immigrant children

On Tuesday, July 23, Governor JB Pritzker signed two bills into law (HB836 and HB1553) that would protect immigrant children in Illinois. These bills were supported by the Pan-Asian Voter Empowerment (PAVE) Coalition and sponsored by State Representative Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz.

Justin Valas, Advancing Justice | Chicago’s Policy Director, spoke at the bill signing ceremony:

Today, we are excited to be among fellow Illinoisans welcoming these vital protections for immigrant youth and immigrant families into law.

For well over 100 years, Asian Americans have seen the impact of immigration policy on our families and communities-

From our Chinese immigrants detained on Angel Island under the Chinese Exclusion Act;

To young Japanese Americans, and our Japanese immigrant families, surrounded by barbed wire under Executive Order 9066;

We know the stories of our families caught up in an impossible immigration system, and the worries over what immigration enforcement could mean for our families and children.

While we work to reunite families and end detention at the federal level, we know that there’s so much that states can do to protect immigrant families and communities. With these bills signed today, Illinois is once again showing its commitment to our immigrant youth, families, and communities. We are proud to have worked alongside legislators and community organizations, including our partners in the Pan-Asian Voter Empowerment Coalition to pass these important protections. Our communities speak with the weight and power of history when we say that these protections are important, they are the right thing to do.

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