February 2015 Newsletter


We had a great retreat; and there's still so much more work to do!

Join the Forum! Continue the conversation in making Champaign-Urbana the most immigrant friendly community in Illinois. 

Want to know how you can get involved? Let Immigration Forum know you're interested! Sign up here and we'll get in contact with you. (By signing up you are lett interested and would like to learn more about the ways you can get involved.)

Here's some of the activities people in the community would like to discuss; find more of what matters to you:

Working Group Descriptions:

Immigrant Friendly Communities: 
  • Developing a proactive campaign that celebrates what immigrants contribute to our community by encouraging local institutions to adopt policies and practices that make Champaign County an Immigrant Friendly Community.
  • Reaching out to the immigrant community to seek their input and feedback to help guide efforts that best meet their needs.
Aid To Unaccompanied Minors: 

You may have heard about the humanitarian crisis precipitated by the arrival of tens of thousands of 

unaccompanied minors coming here from Central America. This group was born out of a community dialogue on what C-U can do to assist unaccompanied minors locally and is committed to finding ways people can assist through advocacy counseling and local fundraising. Please read the CU Immigration Forum statement for more information (PDF).

Communications: Exploring ways we may connect with people in promotion and celebration of immigrants' contributions through the powerfully engaging mediums such as dialogues, storytelling, art, and social media. 

Development: Exploring ways we may support the sustainability of immigrant advocacy and education through fundraising, relationship building, and volunteer power.

Immigration Service Advocacy: Strategizing on building a strong, informed, and empowered constituency through resource sharing, application assistance, advocacy counseling and legal referral.

Would like to learn more? Sign up here to receive more information! 

DAPA* Legal Screening 
Set For February 24
*Deferred Action for 
Parental Accountability

Already received some information about what DAPA means and how parents may qualify for deferred action? Ready to take the next step to receive a legal screening by a qualified attorney? Please attend the next DAPA Screening Event on February 24 (See details below). No appointment necessary. A fee of $25 will be charged for the legal screening. An additional charge of $15 will be made for those seeking assistance in obtaining FBI background checks and immigration background checks. (Please download this bilingual flyer 
(English/Spanish) for more information.)

Deferred Action for Parents of US citizen or permanent resident children (DAPA): Deferred action is a protection against deportation; it does not grant lawful status (which only a change in law approved by Congress can accomplish) and is valid for only three years. People who receive deferred action and show an economic need can apply for temporary work permits. This action could benefit as many as 4.1 million immigrants and their families.

  • Certain undocumented immigrant parents will be able to apply for "deferred action."  
  • This action covers parents of sons or daughters born before November 20, 2014 who are US citizens or permanent residents if those parents arrived in the US before January 1, 2010.  
  • These parents would need to pass background checks, and must not fall within one of the Department of Homeland Security's enforcement priorities (as described below).
  • Valid for three years 
  • The application will cost $465 (the cost of a work permit and the same cost as DACA; no fee waiver will be available).

The deferred action application process will begin within 180 days of the announcement, that is, by late May 2015.  


Applications are not being accepted yet-there is not even a form for applications yet. "DO NOT pay a "notario" or anyone who claims to be able to help you apply "now", hold a place in line for you, or guarantee that you will be approved." 

DAPA Screening
Tuesday, February 24
10am to 5pm

First Presbyterian Church of Champaign
302 West Church Street 
Champaign, IL 61820

Open to the public (No appointment necessary)

A fee of $25 will be charged for the legal screening. An additional charge of $15 will be made for those seeking assistance in obtaining FBI background checks and immigration background checks.

*Please bring all documents that you have including

*criminal, traffic, and immigration records 
(or a fingerprint card)
*evidence of physical presence in the U.S. since January 1, 20110

 (Please download  
this bilingual event flyer (English/Spanish) for more information.)

Resource handouts: 
*Preparing for Immigration Relief (English PDF) (Spanish PDF)
*Getting fingerprints in C-U (English) (Spanish)
*Tax Preparation Process: (English) (Spanish)
*Obtaining Illinois Birth Records (English)(Spanish)
*Obtaining Criminal Records (English)(Spanish)


 If you are interested in volunteering for this pre-screening workshop, Immigration Project is asking volunteers to attend the training on 

Wednesday, February 18 from 5:30pm to 7:30pm 
at The Unitarian Universalist 
Church of Urbana-Champaign 
309 W. Green St, Urbana, IL 61801


IMMIGRATION PROJECT WELCOMES ALL INTERESTED VOLUNTEERS! More information about DAPA can be found here: http://www.ilisready.org/).
Extended DACA* Is Real Starting February 18
*Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals


Expansion of DACA: The White House is also expanding the existing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.  Currently this program only covered youths who arrive in the US before June 15, 2007.  The expansion:

  • moves the cutoff date to January 1, 2010.
  • removes the upper age limit, which currently limits DACA eligibility to only those youths who were born after June 15, 1981.
  • Finally, DACA coverage would last three years, not two.  

These changes will take effect by February 18, 2015. This action could benefit as many as 300,000 immigrant youth.


2 Extended DACA Workshops

Monday, March 2, 2015
5pm to 8pm 
Urbana Middle School
(in the computer lab)
1201 S. Vine Street
Urbana, IL


Tuesday, March 17, 2015
5pm to 8pm
Garden Hills 
Elementary School
(in the cafeteria)
2001 Garden Hills
Champaign, IL


Make an appointment* for these events by calling 
the La Linea helpline 
at 217-417-5897.

*People with appointments will be preferred. People without appointments are welcome to get more information but cannot be not guaranteed service at the event.

Extended DACA Flyers

Are you a permanent resident interested in becoming 
a U.S. Citizen? 

Are you interested in volunteering to help others go through the process of naturalization?

Citizenship Means: New Opportunities, a United Family, and Better Jobs

On March 21, The Refugee Center, The University YMCA, CU Immigration Forum, and The Immigration project are co-sponsoring a free Citizenship Workshop. This workshop is part of The New Americans Initiative, a not-for-profit partnership with The State of Illinois (more information about this partnership is provided below).

Citizenship Workshop
What is a Citizenship Workshop?

The Citizenship Workshop (Free)
Saturday, March 21, 2015
At the Urbana Free Library
210 W. Green Street | Urbana, IL 

Assistance includes conducting one-on-one consultations to assist people in the
completion of the N400 application, in available application financing, and in getting 
connected to community resources.

To assure the completion of your application, please bring all necessary documents listed in the downloadable workshop flyer (below). On February 28, there will be a free document preparation session to help you prepare for the March 21 workshop. 

FREE Document Preparation Session 
Saturday February 28, 2015 
at the Champaign Public Library 
200 W. Green Street | Champaign, IL 
10:00am - 2:00pm 
(in Friends Library Conference Room, 
2nd Floor)

For more information, download:

Are you interested in helping others go through the naturalization process? 


Sign up to volunteer! The New Americans Initiative Team will host an information session on 

Thursday, February 26 at 6pm at the 
University YMCA, 1001 S. Wright Street
Champaign, IL 6120
 (in the Board Room, 2nd floor
Parking is available 
behind the building after 5pm)

This information session will provide overview on the New American Initiative Program and ways you can get involved, including upcoming trainings and certification in areas that are of interest to you! Interested? Sign up on the general volunteer interest form, and we'll be in contact with you soon!

The New Americans Initiative, a non-profit partnership with The State of Illinois, provides FREE* services such as:

� Presenting information on the naturalization process
� Providing a checklist of the documents needed
� Assisting with the completion of your application
� Helping you file for an "application fee" waiver, if you are eligible
� Providing advice and assistance until your oath ceremony
� Having an attorney review your application and provide legal assistance

*This excludes the $10 postage fee for The Immigration Project to submit your application.

Questions? Contact NAI/University YMCA at 217-337-1500; nai@universityymca.org or NAI/ECIRMAC at 217-344-8455; ecirmac@hotmail.com.

CU Immigration

A TV and Radio show serving those interested in international and immigration issues in the Champaign Urbana area

Primarily a guest driven show to inform on all things immigration.


Producer: Ricardo Diaz

Host and editor: Tom Garza


Underwriting is welcomed as donations to the CU Immigration Forum and will be acknowledged on the air with a short title and tagline. No commercial sales or advertising is allowed by the station. Contact Ricardo Diaz diazr@cuimmigrationforum.org

or at 217-979-0255


Tom's style is very respectful and 

inquisitive, especially on the air.


Guests should expect some discussion about their person as much as the issue or their expertise. Tom will casually inquire about both but the guest may provide questions that they want to make sure he asks or repeats often (for example, for an event, your contact info, etc).


Ricardo will hand Tom any notes as to the subject and angle that the guest's prefer  but Tom will guide them to relevancy to our target audience: people interested on IF's mission at this link.


WRFU is a low power FM station whose signal heard throughout the UC area. The evening slot of this show live will catch people most at home or in the car which is where most radio is heard. See them on FB.


UPTV is a public access channel sponsored by both cities and transmitted through Comcast Channel 6.ATT Uverse 99 People can also access it over the internet live and in a Youtube Channel. See them on FB


We tape the live WRFU 104.5 FM broadcast during 7 to 8pm or 8 to 9 according to the guest.


The edited show will be aired on Comcast Channel 6 on Fridays at 6:30 PM and then rebroadcast at various times (Sundays at xx and Wednesdays at xxx)


It can also be found at the UPTV site.


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These events are held in collaboration with the

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