When President Trump issued Executive Orders barring entry to the United States for refugees and immigrants, an attack on innocent people and their families, JCUA renewed its longstanding commitment to stand in solidarity with our immigrant brothers and sisters across Chicago. We fight for the dignity and humanity of the people in our city when it is threatened by people and policies advanced by the current administration.
As an organization that has worked to combat discrimination and anti-Semitism for more than 50 years, JCUA will not stand idly by as our country and state advance cruel and short-sighted policies with devastating ramifications. The majority of the people in our own community come from immigrant families or are immigrants themselves. We reject all efforts to target those who are already vulnerable in our city and state; it endangers lives, it stokes the fire of baseless hatred, and it is in direct opposition to our fundamental organizational and Jewish values – welcoming the stranger and collective responsibility.
WHAT IS JCUA DOING?
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)/Clean DREAM Act
In September of 2017, President Trump signed an executive order repealing DACA. Issued by Obama in 2012, DACA provides undocumented young people who have spent most of their lives in the U.S. legal protections and the hope for a long future in the US. Of the 800,000 DACA recipients in the US today, 42,000 live in Illinois. JCUA is working with the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) to push for a “clean” DREAM Act, with no additional provisions tacked onto the bill for further criminalization of our immigrant siblings. A clean DREAM Act will provide permanent solutions not only for former DACA recipients, but all immigrant and refugees.
TRUST Act/Chicago’s Welcoming City Ordinance
JCUA joined ICIRR and dozens of other organizations as part of the Campaign for a Welcoming IL to pass the TRUST Act (SB31), a bill that prevents local law enforcement from collaborating with ICE agents, protecting thousands of undocumented people across the state of Illinois. With the hard work of JCUA members and other organizers from across Chicago, the TRUST Act passed both the Illinois House of Representatives and the State Senate, and Governor Rauner signed it into law in August 2017. JCUA members are working to ensure that the protections provided by the law are implemented at the city level through work to amend Chicago’s Welcoming City Ordinance (WCO) (passed in 2012). Currently, the WCO carves four vulnerable populations out from the protections of the ordinance. JCUA is working in coalition with other ICIRR partners to amend the ordinance to bring Chicago’s protections up to the level of the TRUST Act
Rapid Response Team
In an effort to actively and quickly speak out against dangerous decisions by the administration, JCUA shares notifications about emergency actions and events with members who have asked to join our Rapid Response Team. While we cannot always have staff on hand, we know that our members effectively represent JCUA far and wide