Immigration Project News

Volunteer Highlight: Nathan Vermillion

In honor of National Volunteer Appreciation month, we are kick-starting our Volunteer Highlights by featuring Nathan Vermillion. We asked him a few questions about himself and his time volunteering with us.
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Where are you from?

Nathan: I grew up in a small town called Yates City located half way between Peoria and Galesburg IL.

How long have you volunteered with us?

N: I have been volunteering since 2014, though I can’t remember the exact month I started.

Why do you volunteer with the IP?

N: I was looking for volunteer opportunities and a co-worker introduced me to the Immigration Project. I was looking to branch out and learn new areas of law and felt immigration would be fun and something completely different from my day job. Turns out I was right. That got me in the door. But it’s been the wonderful attorneys and staff at the Immigration Project and knowing I’m helping people create an opportunity to build better lives for themselves, and especially their families, that keeps me excited to come in each week.

Where do you currently work?

N: I currently work for State Farm.

What is your favorite memory volunteering here?

N: My favorite memory happens on a regular basis. On several occasions the first thing Charlotte will say is “You get to learn something new today.”  I always enjoy the work but on those days there’s always a part of me that gets excited to learn something new about our immigration process.

2015 Annual Report

Immigration Project Annual Report 2015

President Speaks to McLean County Diversity Project

Earlier this year, Laurie Bergner, the current President of the IP’s Board of Directors, and former McLean County Sheriff Mike Emery spoke to the McLean County Diversity Project about one controversial issue impacting our nation: immigration. The McLean County Diversity Project is made up of junior high and high school students interested in learning about diversity issues in their own community. The students asked Bergner and Emery a variety of questions regarding the impact of undocumented immigrants on the U.S. economy, the fear of local police created through racial profiling, the Syrian Refugee Crisis, and the most recent I.C.E. raids. For the full story, click here.

Happy Hour in Champaign

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On February 11th, the IP hosted a Happy Hour at Cowboy Monkey in Champaign as a way to introduce the agency to the community. A variety of professionals and students attended including participants in the Domestic Violence Clinic at the University of Illinois School of Law, a local judge, attorneys, and individuals associated with other non-profits in town.

1 Rebekah Niblock, the attorney running the Champaign office, and Laurie Bergner, the President of the Board, gave some back history on the organization as well as how the IP will continue to move forward in Champaign. There was a brief Q & A session afterwards where members of other local organizations shared stories and information on recent I.C.E. raids in the area. Thanks again to our gracious host, Cowboy Monkey, and to Beth Robinson for donating the appetizers.

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The IP Weighs in on Supreme Court Decision

WHOI news channel in Peoria interviewed The Immigration Project’s Executive Director, Jasmine McGee, on the impact of the Supreme Court’s decision on Obama’s executive actions. In regards to the effect of the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals blocking Obama’s executive orders on immigration, Jasmine states, “There is a lot of fear coming forward to declare or apply for certain relief… That is something we will definitely be concerned with if it does go into effect. How do we reach out the community and advocate for them to apply?” As of now, there is no certainty of whether the Supreme Court will rule in favor of either side. The full story can be found here.

¡Conozca sus Derechos!

Si ve ICE en su comunidad o si usted necesita representación por favor contactenos al (309) 829-8703 los lunes o miércoles de 10 a.m. e 4 p.m.

If you see ICE in your community or need representation please contact us at (309) 829-8703 on Mondays or Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
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The Immigration Project on WGLT

Listen to Judith Valente from WGLT interview our Executive Director and Senior Staff Attorney, Jasmine McGee, on the Syrian Refugee Crisis and how immigration has changed over the past 20 years. Click here to listen to the interview and to read the article.

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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