May 19 Fundraiser

Join us for a Wine & Tapas Tasting party on Sunday, May 19, from 1 to 4 p.m. at Trenton House Restaurant at 2 East Broadway in Trenton, IL (see map below).

Tickets are $20 per person and includes tapas (appetizers), samples of a variety of wines, and non-alcoholic beverages (soda, iced tea & coffee).

Knowledgeable representatives will pour the samples and answer your wine questions.

For ticket information, call (618) 444-5934 or email

All proceeds will benefit the Immigration Project.  The Lawyer’s Trust Fund of Illinois will donate $2 for every new $1 donated to the Project by June 30, 2013.

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May 3 Fundraiser

Date:  Friday, May 3

Time:  5:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Location:  Coffee Nation, 3907 GE Road (GE Road and Towanda Barnes Road) in Bloomington

Enjoy margaritas and tamales as you listen to Latin music by the band Los Explosivos

Admission:  $35

Tickets at the door OR contact Laurie Bergner at (309) 454-3113 or

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New U.S. Citizen, Komlan Diabo

 To become an American was a dream I’ve had ever since I could remember.  Komlan Diabo
I don’t know how the influence came about, but I think watching the first Rocky, episodes of Tom & Jerry or the first Star Wars, what we learned about this country in Elementary school in Togo, or even Mr. Barack Obama becoming the first African-American President had something to do with it.  You could feel the freedom in it.
I’ve been in the States for 9 years and now it feels right to become a citizen of this great country. I would very much like to thank the Immigration Project staff–especially Miss Christine Howe–for helping me through this process. Thank you for making this an easy and smooth process and helping me realize my dream!!

Thank you, Garlic Press & Caffé Italia

On April 9, we hosted our second annual Volunteer Appreciation Reception.  Thank you to the Garlic Press and Caffé Italia Ristorante for donating delicious h’ordeuvres and desserts for the event.  And thank you to the tireless volunteers and interns who are the lifeblood of our organization!

Adrian’s Story

My name is Adrian.  I came to the U.S. from Guatemala with my parents when I was 11.  I came to the Immigration Project for help with my Deferred Action application in the fall of 2012.

The attorney who worked with me couldn’t have been better! She had a flexible schedule and was so helpful in putting together my application. I couldn’t have done it without her. I am happy to report that my application was approved on February 1st, and I received my work permit soon after. The work permit has allowed me to start looking for a better paying job, which will help me continue my studies in architecture. It has made all the difference in my life.

Deferred Action was a great opportunity for me, and the staff at the Immigration Project were so helpful and dedicated to making it happen. I am so grateful for their help.

April 4 Fundraiser

 As current and former members of the Board of Directors of The Immigration Project, we cordially invite you to join us for a wine tasting and hors d’oeuvres to celebrate and support the services provided to immigrant communities throughout downstate Illinois by the dedicated attorneys and staff of The Immigration Project.

Date:  Thursday, April 4

Time:  5:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Location:  Scott D. Pollock & Associates, P.C., 105 West Madison Street, Suite 2200, Chicago, IL 60602 (see map below)

Donations: Donations will be accepted at the event via credit card, check, and cash.

Thank you in advance for your support.


Randall Rapp, Elizabeth Rompf Bruen, Craig Mousin, and Susan Schreiber

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Matching Grant Multiplies Your Contribution

 Thanks to a generous matching grant recently awarded to the Immigration Project, the Lawyers Trust Fund of Illinois will donate $2 for every new $1 donated to the Project by June 30. Thank you LTF for your support!

Donate NOW and triple your contribution!

Jorge’s Story

My name is Jorge De La Fuente and I am from Bolivia. I became a US Permanent Resident in 2009 and a US Citizen in 2011. All of these wouldn’t have been possible without the assistance I received from Immigration Project.

I had the pleasure to meet two amazing people, who are very knowledgeable of their job and always willing to help, Cristina Deutsch and Christine Howe. Thanks to these two ladies I was able to apply for residency and citizenship–meeting all immigration standards and rules, filling out the correct applications without making any mistakes, and meeting all deadlines.

These two ladies were always in contact with me throughout the whole process and available at any time for questions and clarification. I cannot think of anything but good things to say about them and the organization they work for. I am very thankful for the assistance Immigration Project provided me making my immigration experience an enjoyable and pleasant one.

Lawyer helps immigrants untangle federal laws

Excerpted from a Pantagraph article by Edith Brady-Lunny.

A law degree may not be required to decipher confusing federal immigration laws, but it doesn’t hurt to have one.  Marti Jones, executive director of The Immigration Project, and three staff attorneys, help immigrants in 87 Illinois counties navigate the rules that govern how long and under what conditions a person can live in the United States.

The territory south of Interstate 80 is home to about 100,000 immigrants, or about 5 percent of the state’s immigrant population, said Jones. Statistics available for the first six months of 2012 show the agency provided counseling and immigration advice to 546 individuals.

While illegal immigrants who cross into the U.S. without permission are among those helped, the project also assisted people from 48 countries in 2011, with the largest single group coming from Mexico, Jones recently in the project’s Bloomington office. She said calls for assistance spike with two conditions: “When people think there’s a path to legal status or something changes in their lives” that could impact their status.

Read the full story at…

Programs help young immigrants find future in U.S.

Excerpted from a Pantagraph article by Edith Brady-Lunny.

Edgar Celis wants to attend community college, join the Marines, and give Microsoft a run for its money as an independent businessman.

But the first order of business for the 18-year-old Normal Community West High School graduate is an application he recently completed for President Barack Obama’s initiative that allows young, illegal immigrants the chance to defer possible deportation for two years.

Celis was among more than 90 applicants to receive help with their paperwork for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program last week at a program sponsored by The Immigration Project at Illinois Wesleyan University’s Shirk Center.

Read the full story at…