Immigration Project News

Celebrating 20 Years

On Tuesday, November 10, 2015 over 80 community members from diverse backgrounds gathered at the 2nd Presbyterian Church in Bloomington in celebration of the Immigration Project’s 20th anniversary. Students, professors, volunteers, old friends, clients, attorneys, judges, long time supporters, and new supporters attended the Immigration Project’s Flourish Where You’re Planted luncheon making it a huge success!

Cristina Deutsch, a tireless immigrant legal advocate who has dedicated her life to helping immigrant populations and an original founder of the Immigration Project, was honored with the first annual Immigration Hero Award. Her dedication to immigration work both within her professional and personal life made her a prime candidate for the award. The keynote speaker, Judge James A. Knecht, received a standing ovation for his kind words towards the Immigration Project’s committed staff and for recognizing immigrants as epitomizing the American Dream. It was a lunch filled with compassion and assertion that left everyone in a celebratory mood.

The Board hopes that this luncheon is the first of many for the Project.

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From Left to Right: Charlotte Alvarez (Staff Attorney), Christine Howe (Capacity and Volunteer Development Director), Adrian Barr (Board Member), Laurie Bergner (President of the Board), Judge James A. Knecht (Keynote Speaker), Cristina Deutsch (Immigration Hero Awardee), Tim Flavin (Board Member), Rebekah Niblock (Staff Attorney), David Hirst (Board Member), Sara Dietrich (Staff Attorney), Carolyn Nadeau (Board Member), Jasmine McGee (Executive Director)

Champaign Community Navigators (Promotores) Info Meeting

On Tuesday, December 8th, we will be hosting a FREE Community Navigators (Promotores) information meeting at our office in CHAMPAIGN. We have the pleasure of having Dagmara Avelar, Program Coordinator at ICIRR, Luis Huerta-Silva, ICIRR Regional Trainer, and Sarah Mesick, Midwest Regional Trainer Committee of Immigration Reform Implementation present on the training process required to become a Community Navigator or Promotor. If you have any questions or wish to RSVP, please contact Christine Howe.ComNavsChamp-EnglishComNavsChamp-Spanish

Normal Community Navigators (Promotores) Info Meeting

On Tuesday, December 8th, we will be hosting a FREE Community Navigators (Promotores) information meeting at our office in NORMAL. We have the pleasure of having Dagmara Avelar, Program Coordinator at ICIRR, Luis Huerta-Silva, ICIRR Regional Trainer, and Sarah Mesick, Midwest Regional Trainer Committee of Immigration Reform Implementation present on the training process required to become a Community Navigator or Promotor. If you have any questions or wish to RSVP, please contact Christine Howe.

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Partners and Clinics | Piktochart Infographic Editor

For a look into the various locations we’ve traveled this past year click on the image below.

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Source: Partners and Clinics | Piktochart Infographic Editor

Open House at the New Office

On October 7, 2015, The Immigration Project opened its new office doors in Normal to the community for tours, games, and refreshments. The Immigration Project recently moved from its location in Bloomington, Illinois to Normal in late July. It has been about 7 years since the last big move from Granite City to Bloomington. Although the new office is physically smaller, the space allows for more security and attorney-client privacy.
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A mixture of clients, donors, and community members attended the Open House to meet the staff and board members. Light refreshments were donated by La Bamba, Ropp Cheese, Kroger, Hy-Vee, and Jewel-Osco. Additionally, the landlord, Matt Summers, gave permission to use the vacant, next-door suite to help accommodate for the number of visitors.

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Position open immediately

now-hiring

The IP has an immediate opening for another VISTA job that will start July 2015.

Application due rather immediately.

The VISTA will expand the Immigration Project’s capacity to provide legal assistance through the creation of a sustainable Volunteer Program. See the details:

Immigration Project–Volunteer Coordinator

Please forward this to anyone you think may be interested and thank you.

Anyone interested needs to apply online through the link above.  Possible candidates can get their questions answered after sending Christine a resume.

 

Make us part of your life

Recent cuts from the State of Illinois will certainly affect our ability to reach everyone. Won’t you click on the Donate Button on the upper right of our homepage?

 

A quick way of donating all year is to make us your designated charity at Amazon. It costs you nothing since the prices are still the same. Every few cents make a difference.

 

Just click on http://smile.amazon.com/ and do a quick search for us, Immigration Project in Bloomington, Illinois.

 

Thank you for sharing this notice with your friends.

 

 

Honoring Two Board Members

The Immigration Project Board of Directors met for its annual meeting on June 7, 2014.  During the meeting, the Board honored Merwyn Nelson for his ten years of devoted service to the Immigration Project as a board member and volunteer.  Although he will no longer serve as a board member, Merwyn stated, “I will continue helping with immigrants through ESL classes and helping them study for citizenship and passing out information flyers and business cards for Immigration Project.”

The Board also thanked Claudia Fabian for her four years of service as a board member, and, most notably, for her leadership as President.  As she prepares for advancement with the Illinois Department of Public Health – Vital Records, Claudia reflected, “It has been an honor to be a part of this board and to serve with you… I leaned so much, got to know many of you (which probably would have not happened if not for IP) and had lots of fun too so, what else can one ask for?”

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Back (l to r): Elizabeth Rompf Bruen, Randall Rapp, Kris Olson, Carolyn Nadeau, Merwyn Nelson, Alex Enyart, Ricardo Díaz.

Front: María Sánchez-Ley, Laurie Bergner, Claudia Fabian.  Not pictured: Tim Flavin, John Groves, Carol Juen, Matt Kuenning

 

Immigration Project featured on WSIL TV in Carbondale

WSIL filmed Christine Howe, our Citizenship Coordinator, while she conducted a citizenship information meeting in Carbondale last month.  Read the article and view the video.

Volunteer Citizenship Team Training Sept 14

Join us on Saturday, September 14 and learn more about being a volunteer as a member of the Volunteer Citizenship Team.  One of our rewarding programs is to help any Legal Permanent Resident (i.e., “green card” holder) to naturalize (become a U.S. citizen).  We inform them of the process and how we can help; we process their paperwork–complete and review their applications–and forward it to U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services.  Then we follow them through the process from fingerprinting to exam/interview to oath ceremony.  If an in-state client’s case qualifies under a grant program called the New Americans Initiative, we provide this assistance for only $10 per person because the grant funds the rest of the processing cost.

The Volunteer Citizenship Team is crucial to all phases of this process and works directly with clients (if desired) or does follow-up case management database work or helps with outreach efforts.  This team volunteers in our home office in Bloomington but serves clients all over downstate Illinois through phone, email, or Skype.  We ask for an average of two hours per week and are very flexible with your schedule (within the normal daytime work hours).  There are occasional Saturday opportunities.

We are aiming to have at least 12 committed persons –50% students and 50% community residents.  We also are looking for a language mix of about 60% only English speaking; about 30% bilingual English/Spanish, and about 10% bilingual English/French.  We will have an overview from 9-10 a.m.  If you decide this volunteer opportunity is a good fit for you, stick around for the 3-hour training (10 a.m. to 1 p.m.).  We will provide light refreshments!

Contact Volunteer Coordinator Christine Howe at chowe@immigrationproject.org or at 309.829.8703.

 

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