Press Release - Thursday, May 04, 2023
Pritzker Administration Announces Illinois' Immigrant Task Force Report
CHICAGO - Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Immigrant Impact Task Force released a report examining various issues affecting immigrant, refugee, and limited English proficiency communities, sharing recommendations the state can take to improve services to immigrant communities. The Task Force identified thirteen issues in the legislation ranging from citizenship assistance, business development, education access, discrimination prevention, immigration detention, COVID-19 relief, language access programs, and more.
The report emphasizes the importance of programs and resources provided by the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) in supporting immigrant communities. These programs include language assistance, referrals to community resources, and the Refugee and Immigrant Services Program, which offers various services to help refugees and immigrants integrate into their new communities.
The report also highlights Illinois serving as a welcoming state and IDHS's efforts to address the unique challenges undocumented immigrants face. These efforts include the creation of a hotline for individuals to report fraudulent immigration services, as well as the provision of legal assistance to immigrants facing deportation.
"We know that 1.8 million immigrants, or 14 percent of Illinois' population, make up an essential part of our communities, and we are committed to ensuring that they have access to the support and services they need to thrive," said IDHS Secretary Grace B. Hou.
"We are proud to be recognized for our work in supporting immigrant communities. We will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that every Illinois resident has access to the services they need to lead healthy and fulfilling lives."
"All immigrants face unique challenges in accessing the services and support they need to thrive and start their path toward a better life," said State Senator Celina Villanueva. "We commend IDHS for making the needs and challenges of immigrants across Illinois a priority, as they are providing sustainable and sufficient resources to not only undocumented immigrants but to ALL immigrants who are in need."
The report concludes with recommendations for policymakers and community leaders to better support immigrant communities in Illinois. These recommendations include increasing funding for language access services, expanding access to healthcare, and creating new programs to support immigrant entrepreneurs.
"We believe that Illinois can be a model for the rest of the country in supporting immigrant communities," said Representative Aaron Ortiz (D-Chicago). "By following many of the recommendations outlined in this report, we can ensure that every Illinois resident has the opportunity to thrive and contribute to our state's vibrant communities."
"The State of Illinois is home to over 1.8 million immigrants, making us one of the most welcoming places in the nation," said State Rep. and co-chair of the Asian American Legislative Caucus Theresa Mah, (D-Chicago). "I look forward to working collaboratively with Governor Pritzker and the Illinois General Assembly to review and implement the recommendations laid out in this report, ensuring those joining the fabric of our state have the resources they need to thrive and be successful."
The Illinois Immigrant Task Force consists of 27 members representing a broad and diverse group of agencies, organizations, and residents from across the state. The report was released on Latino Unity Day, in conjunction with the Governor joining a panel discussion with Senator Celina Villanueva, Dr. Maggie Rivera, President/CEO of the Illinois Migrant Council, Luis Gutierrez, CEO of Latinos Progresando, and Grace Pai, Executive Director of the Asian Americans Advancing Justice.
Click for the full report.