Budget Maintains State Commitment for the Immigrant Community
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS -- The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) is pleased with the proposed budget that Governor Pat Quinn announced today. This budget announcement shows that Governor Quinn will continue his commitment to help immigrants succeed in our country. Immigrants and their minor children are now one-fifth of the Illinois population. The State plays a key role in moving these families into American society, and this budget maintains that important role.
We understand that Governor Quinn was faced with tough decisions this year in regards to human services, education, and healthcare, and we appreciate that the Governor invested in the 1.8 million immigrants living in Illinois.
The proposed budget provides just under $7 million for immigrant integration services. These services include the Immigrant Family Support Program, which helps immigrant families attain proper health, well-being and economic self-sufficiency and the New Americans Initiative (NAI), a program to assist legal permanent residents to apply for citizenship. New Americans in Illinois comprise 13.7% of the population.
“We will continue to work with Governor Quinn to maintain funding for educational opportunities like the Monetary Award Program and early childhood education, to give our children a fighting chance at a future,” said Lawrence Benito, ICIRR’s Chief Executive Officer. "Illinois has a rapidly growing immigrant population and we will continue to work with the Governor to ensure that the budget reflects its growing needs.”
On February 29, ICIRR along with member organizations will go to Springfield in 18 buses and 11 vans for an “Advocacy Day” to continue working with allies in the Illinois General Assembly to make sure that immigrant services are protected in the appropriations process.
The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights is a statewide coalition of more than 130 organizations dedicated to promoting the rights of immigrants and refugees to full and equal participation in the civic, cultural, social, and political life of our diverse society. For more information, visit www.icirr.org.