A Plan for New Americans
When I think about Chicago, I think about standing with Harold Washington when he declared Chicago a welcoming city — a sanctuary city. I think about my own immigration story, coming to Chicago from Durango when I was nine. This city was founded by a Black immigrant – a Haitian. And ever since then Black, Brown, Asian, indigenous, LGBTQ+, and immigrant people from all continents have all built this city. Today, more than 150 languages are spoken in Chicago.
But our city can do so much more for our immigrant communities. We can lead the nation in programs, policies, and initiatives that make us the most welcoming place for New American families.
I will use the powers of the Mayor’s office to bring attention, resources, and partners to this effort. Whether at the federal, state or county level, I will bring resources to support migrants and immigrant populations. We will protect families from being torn apart by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.
Thriving in America:
● Ensure non-citizen taxpayers and undocumented parents can vote in local school board elections as they do in their local school council.
● Put into action robust strategies to uplift immigrant entrepreneurs and open new professional opportunities for young immigrants.
● Ensure Comprehensive Language Access for all parents in CPS and in all government agencies.
Chicago Dream Act:
● As Mayor, I will push for a Chicago Dream Act and work with the City Council, and stakeholders from non-profits, industries, and community organizations to expand work and internship opportunities for all immigrant youth and students.
● Expand the Legal Defense fund to provide more Community Navigators and legal services.
Welcoming Migrants to Chicago:
● Facilitate opportunities for migrants to socialize with each other and other community members when establishing relocation sites here in Chicago.
● Establish Chicago Community Hubs in local public schools. and open up schools during evenings for all, including migrants.
● Establish a comprehensive plan with government, non-profit partners and financial institutions to assist New Americans in becoming homeowners and establishing housing stability regardless of immigration status.
● Uphold City’s Welcoming City’s Ordinance and ensure Chicago remains a welcoming city. All services and benefits provided by the city will be available to all Chicagoans, regardless of immigration status. I will ensure that CPD does not cooperate with ICE.
● I support the Healthy Illinois campaign, working to continue expanding affordable health care coverage accessible to all people in Illinois
● I will urge the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services to include longterm care in the service package offered through the Health Benefits for Immigrant Adults (HBIA) program.
● Human service providers should incorporate a trauma-informed approach to service delivery to enhance the quality of care for immigrant women and children.
● Work with Community Health Centers and the Chicago Department of Public Health to expand affordable quality health care to all regardless of immigration status and age
● Chicago’s Department of Family and Support Services should be trained to connect immigrants to essential city resources assign staff at every relevant government agency to work with immigrants.
● Make clear city policy on language access and translation services in multiple languages and ensure comprehensive and inclusive services for all immigrants.
● Enforce acceptance by Chicago businesses of consular IDs in accordance with the IL Consular Identification Document Act and the Municipal ID – the CityKey.
● Partner with civilian and community partners to prioritize Gender-Based Violence Services over other systems of response
● Increase investments in trauma-informed housing, emergency shelter, mental health and community-based services that meet the unique needs of immigrants who have experienced violence, trafficking, torture, domestic violence and sexual assault.
● Increase staff training and modify service models to improve the delivery of culturally and linguistically competent domestic violence services to immigrant women and their children.