Immigration Issues in the News

The Immigration Project got its first Form I-212 approval, which will allow a husband and father, who has waited in Mexico for 10 years, to finally join his family in the U.S.  He will be joining his U.S. citizen wife and two U.S. citizen daughters, who he has been living separated from since 2006.  

The backstory:
Mr. G Salinas (name changed) met his wife in Mexico after he returned from working and living in the U.S. without permission. He decided to marry her and stay in Mexico and they had a child. Because she was a U.S. citizen and wanted to live in the U.S., she traveled to the U.S. . While there, she learned she was pregnant with her second child and decided to stay, visit him in Mexico, and work to bring him to the U.S. They didn’t understand he was barred  from entering the US due to multiple entries without permission, and so he had to remain outside for 10 years,…AND  then they didn’t understand that he would need special permission from the U.S. government to come back after the waiting 10 years. Until she met with our agency, after he was once again denied at the consulate at Ciudad Juarez.

Access to Justice Hearings Scheduled

You are invited to attend one of the regional Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Access to Justice Listening Conference for the Fourth and Fifth Appellate Districts.  Issues such as language barriers, limited access to information, restricted access to low-income legal services, special vulnerabilities to fraud and abuse, etc. present significant barriers for our immigrant communities.  Please join us at the Immigration Project in attending one of these meetings to make certain our communities are represented on these issues.

View invitation to May 30 hearing in Champaign.

View invitation to June 5th hearing in Edwardsville.

Both events will be held from 1:30 to 4:00 p.m.   Space is limited.  To secure your seat, RSVP to

Proposed Immigration Reform Bill Not Law Yet

The American Immigration Lawyers Association cautions immigrants about possible notario fraud.  View the public service announcement in English or Spanish.

Read the proposed bill, “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act

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…

Open house an introduction for Immigration Project

An open house at The Immigration Project in Bloomington on Friday drew about 50 people who were interested in using or possibly volunteering for the nonprofit legal service agency.  The Immigration Project moved from Granite City to 510 E. Washington St., Bloomington, in October 2008 in order to better serve its territory, 86 Illinois counties south of Interstate 80. Executive Director Marti Jones said the open house was organized to introduce the community to the agency, which offers help with citizenship applications among other services.

Read the full story at…