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NIJC & The Resurrection Project Welcome Support to Extend Legal Education and Representation Programs for Immigrant Chicagoans

The National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) and The Resurrection Project (TRP) applaud today’s Chicago City Council vote to continue to allocate funding for the Chicago Legal Protection Fund in 2018.

Today’s budget vote means that NIJC and TRP, along with nine Community Navigator organizations, will have the opportunity to continue providing legal education and representation for Chicago immigrants who are living under increasing threat of deportation by the Trump administration.

To date in 2017, the Legal Protection Fund has allowed NIJC to provide legal consultations to about 1,700 Chicagoans and legal representation in nearly 900 cases to help immigrants apply for affirmative forms of relief or defend themselves against deportation. TRP and Community Navigator organizations have reached over 22,000 Chicagoans through “know your rights” presentations and other community education efforts.

“The Legal Protection Fund has been critical this year to helping us get information to communities about how they can defend their rights and understand their legal options,” said Ruth Lopez McCarthy, the Fund’s managing attorney at NIJC. “Thanks to the Fund, we have been able to educate thousands of Chicagoans about their rights and provide legal representation to help them navigate the system. We are grateful for this continued support from the City of Chicago and City Council to ensure we can continue to provide legal services for another year.”

“Continuing funds for the Legal Protection Fund demonstrates Chicago’s commitment to its immigrant community,” said Raul Raymundo, chief executive officer of TRP. “The Fund allows us and our partner organizations to reach thousands of Chicagoans to protect our families from deportation by arming them with their rights, showing up with them at court and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement check-ins, and connecting them to legal counsel.”

Since the Fund launched in January 2017, the Trump administration has stripped legal status from nearly one million immigrants nationwide with the termination of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and Temporary Protected Status for Haiti, Nicaragua, and Sudan. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has significantly increased its presence in Chicago neighborhoods, and the administration has been explicit in its intentions of placing any undocumented immigrant its agents encounter into deportation proceedings.

In the first nine months of 2017, with support from the Fund, NIJC was able to provide legal services to 90 percent more Chicagoans than during the same period in 2016. To read more about the Fund’s accomplishments, read NIJC and TRP’s October 2017 report.

The National Immigrant Justice Center is a nongovernmental organization dedicated to ensuring human rights protections and access to justice for all immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers through a unique combination of direct services, policy reform, impact litigation and public education. Visit immigrantjustice.org and follow @NIJC.

The Resurrection Project is a multifaceted organization that seamlessly blends community development, community organizing, human service delivery, and advocacy to build healthier and engaged communities. Since its founding in 1990 with an initial seed capital of $30,000, TRP has leveraged more than $431 million in community reinvestment through homes for ownership, rental housing, small businesses and community facilities. To date TRP has developed 733 units of affordable housing, and created over 264,000 square feet of community commercial space, creating vibrant, healthier and involved communities. For more information on TRP’s immigration services please go to www.resurrectionproject.org.