[remote or in person] Committee on Immigrant and Refugee Rights

Chicago City Council
Politics

Tuesday, July 2, 2024
12:30 p.m. — 3:00 p.m. CDT

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121 N LaSalle St Chicago, IL 60602 (Directions)

City Hall, 2nd floor, Council Chambers

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Other notes and pre-research resources

  • Meeting details page: https://chicityclerkelms.chicago.gov/Meeting/?meetingId=24DC1E1B-932D-EF11-840A-001DD806F0F1
  • This meeting will likely involve discussions of the city’s response to new arrivals, specifically…
  • A subject matter hearing on SO2024-0008386: Department of Family and Support Services directed to provide City Council daily report of total New Arrivals and Asylum Seekers to be evicted or removed from emergency temporary shelters operated by City of Chicago
  • R2023-0001265: Call for hearing(s) with Chicago Police Department and Chicago Law Department regarding status of U Nonimmigrant Status certifications, policies for approval/denial and collection of data
  • R2024-0007367: Call for U.S. President Biden and Secretary of Homeland Security to process requests for temporary protective status to Ecuadorian citizens migrating to United States
  • Be sure to check the “attachments” tab for the meeting agenda and other documents. You can access more information about items on the agenda at https://chicityclerkelms.chicago.gov/. You can search keywords or click the “Show more filters” button and enter the legislation number (i.e. [O as in Ordinance][year introduced]-####, [R as in Resolution][year introduced]-####).
  • Chicago Councilmatic: This civic data org’s website has a lot of the information that can be found on the city’s database in a more user-friendly format, with info on this committee, plus headshots of members

Check the source website for additional information

Reporting

Edited and summarized by the Chicago - IL Documenters Team

Live reporting by Wendy Wei

Climate change-related migration, U-Visas for new arrivals

Wendy Wei @thewendyway
Hello👋👋 I’ll be live-tweeting today's Committee on Immigrant and Refugee Rights for #CHIdocumenters @CHIdocumenters Lots to cover including @Chicago_Police on U-visa approval/data collection processes, and call on @POTUS to process TPS for Ecuadorians 🇪🇨. Starting 12:30p⏳

12:41 PM Jul 2, 2024 CDT

Wendy Wei @thewendyway 2/25
During public comment, one calls to lift the 60 day limit for asylum-seeker shelters while 3 others focus on racial inequality in resource distribution between Black citizens and non-Black immigrants, calling the situation in Venezuela a fabricated "scam"
Wendy Wei @thewendyway 3/25
Rep from @BPNCchicago demands more from the fed gov, citing the DNC as an opportunity. In eng/esp, Chicago resident of 30 years originally from Ecuador calls city for potential protection of Ecuadorians and "all human beings coming for refuge."
Wendy Wei @thewendyway 4/25
@BPNCchicago An unhoused public commenter says "y'all don't consider the Black American plight, while you put so much money into this new arrivals initiative." Rep from CAAEJ ties climate disasters's role in migration to Chi's responsibility to address climate issues for all
Wendy Wei @thewendyway 5/25
@BPNCchicago Moving to U Visa resolution, citing @ballesteros_312's @injusticewatch 2022 investigation that found that CPD denies U visa certification requests at a higher rate than other large cities
injusticewatch.org/project/u-visa…
Wendy Wei @thewendyway 6/25
@BPNCchicago @ballesteros_312 @injusticewatch U Visas = "U nonimmigrant status", which allows noncitizens who have been victims of certain crimes to "live and work in the United States for up to four years, with extensions in some cases." Rep from @NIJC is answering questions
immigrantjustice.org/know-your-righ…
Wendy Wei @thewendyway 7/25
@BPNCchicago @ballesteros_312 @injusticewatch @NIJC Olave @NIJC, trains CPD on U Visas, says part of the problem is lack of transparency on eligibility criteria. "You have to have it accessible. Clearly those are issues that we're having difficulty with now. A reluctance by [CPD] to join us today is evidence of that."
Wendy Wei @thewendyway 8/25
@BPNCchicago @ballesteros_312 @injusticewatch @NIJC Olave says there's room for improvement in creating a website that walks people through the app process and increasing access to legal rep when appealing improper denials.
Wendy Wei @thewendyway 9/25
@BPNCchicago @ballesteros_312 @injusticewatch @NIJC Olave states that U Visa cert can be "denied because the original officer believed that the person was not actually a victim of a crime." Discussion @AldRodriguez22 @the48thward focused on better support to people, mostly women, with domestic violence cases in U Visa application.
Wendy Wei @thewendyway 10/25
@BPNCchicago @ballesteros_312 @injusticewatch @NIJC @AldRodriguez22 @the48thward Meeting moves to 2nd resolution on TPS for Ecuadorian citizens migrating to the US. Consul General of Ecuador and Pachamak Foundation present.
Wendy Wei @thewendyway 11/25
@BPNCchicago @ballesteros_312 @injusticewatch @NIJC @AldRodriguez22 @the48thward She brings up the 2016 earthquake that alone caused damages est at $3 bil, political violence/cartel activities since 2020 - "the compounded factors hindered econ recovery and exacerbated poverty and unemployment, making it unsafe and unfeasible for Ecuadorians to return home."
Wendy Wei @thewendyway 12/25
@BPNCchicago @ballesteros_312 @injusticewatch @NIJC @AldRodriguez22 @the48thward One Ecuadorian immigrant, a small business owner, testifies "If this benefit [TPS] will be granted [we will] to continue creating employment, to help the economy of IL, and we will pay taxes, not only in the state level, but also in the federal level."
Wendy Wei @thewendyway 13/25
@BPNCchicago @ballesteros_312 @injusticewatch @NIJC @AldRodriguez22 @the48thward @AldPatDowell3rd asks Ecuadorian General Counsel Revelo if Ecuador is shutting their doors "as of July 1 to migrants from Asia, the Middle East and Africa." Revelo responds, "What you said is not right, it's inaccurate." Meeting in recess for 10 min to get confirmation on facts.
Wendy Wei @thewendyway 14/25
@BPNCchicago @ballesteros_312 @injusticewatch @NIJC @AldRodriguez22 @the48thward @AldPatDowell3rd Resolution passes as a recommendation at next City Council, but Ecuador's border restrictions is unconfirmed.
News outlets have reported that Ecuador will end visa-free entry into the country for Chinese citizens, including @VOANews
voanews.com/a/ecuador-ends…
Wendy Wei @thewendyway 15/25
@BPNCchicago @ballesteros_312 @injusticewatch @NIJC @AldRodriguez22 @the48thward @AldPatDowell3rd @VOANews Meeting moves on subject mattering hearing to explore and address implications of climate change induced migration to Chicago.
"it is in our best interest as a city to discuss how to be prepared, because the migration will continue," says @Andrefor40th @40thforward
Wendy Wei @thewendyway 16/25
@BPNCchicago @ballesteros_312 @injusticewatch @NIJC @AldRodriguez22 @the48thward @AldPatDowell3rd @VOANews @Andrefor40th @40thforward @urbaninstitute @AnneNJunod's research found that "institutional relationships/collaborations developed before climate migrants arrival are critical" and orgs with "cultural competencies and expertise were most successful in addressing the needs of climate migrant populations."
Wendy Wei @thewendyway 17/25
@BPNCchicago @ballesteros_312 @injusticewatch @NIJC @AldRodriguez22 @the48thward @AldPatDowell3rd @VOANews @Andrefor40th @40thforward @urbaninstitute @AnneNJunod She highlights the importance of framing climate migration as a feature of "interrelated and ongoing disasters" and not an "isolated secondary effect of climate change."
"No communities sending or receiving will be immune from climate threats," she concludes.
Wendy Wei @thewendyway 18/25
@BPNCchicago @ballesteros_312 @injusticewatch @NIJC @AldRodriguez22 @the48thward @AldPatDowell3rd @VOANews @Andrefor40th @40thforward @urbaninstitute @AnneNJunod @EnterpriseNow's Rachel Drew bases recs on the assumption "that housing is the foundation for responding to migration events." Research finds that migrants tend to have little knowledge about the operation of local housing markets and needed considerable help to understand.
Wendy Wei @thewendyway 19/25
@BPNCchicago @ballesteros_312 @injusticewatch @NIJC @AldRodriguez22 @the48thward @AldPatDowell3rd @VOANews @Andrefor40th @40thforward @urbaninstitute @AnneNJunod @EnterpriseNow Current "climate havens" for migrants are Sun Belt and Gulf Coast states (AZ, TX, FL), not yet northern cities like Chi, though it is likely to be more popular in the future. Chi can invest in peer-learning on policies from southern regions to be prepared.
Wendy Wei @thewendyway 20/25
@BPNCchicago @ballesteros_312 @injusticewatch @NIJC @AldRodriguez22 @the48thward @AldPatDowell3rd @VOANews @Andrefor40th @40thforward @urbaninstitute @AnneNJunod @EnterpriseNow @ALIANZAAMERICAS reiterates that there is no widely accepted definition for climate migration. "For some, labor migration is a better way to describe this movement, as people migrate temporarily to supplement their losses due to climate change."
Wendy Wei @thewendyway 21/25
@BPNCchicago @ballesteros_312 @injusticewatch @NIJC @AldRodriguez22 @the48thward @AldPatDowell3rd @VOANews @Andrefor40th @40thforward @urbaninstitute @AnneNJunod @EnterpriseNow @ALIANZAAMERICAS Jorge Mena Robles @UICLCC brings climate change discussion back to ongoing local issues by spotlighting "sacrifice zones," Black and Latino communities in the southwest and far south side, that are most affected by environmental pollution.
Wendy Wei @thewendyway 22/25
Wendy Wei @thewendyway 23/25
@BPNCchicago @ballesteros_312 @injusticewatch @NIJC @AldRodriguez22 @the48thward @AldPatDowell3rd @VOANews @Andrefor40th @40thforward @urbaninstitute @AnneNJunod @EnterpriseNow @ALIANZAAMERICAS @UICLCC Floor opens to alder questions. @Andrefor40th asks if the city has conducted risk assessment/planning to anticipate climate-related migration to the city? @ChicagoOEMC Lyman says yes.
@AldPatDowell3rd requests for expanded scope to include Sub-Saharan African countries.
Wendy Wei @thewendyway 24/25
@BPNCchicago @ballesteros_312 @injusticewatch @NIJC @AldRodriguez22 @the48thward @AldPatDowell3rd @VOANews @Andrefor40th @40thforward @urbaninstitute @AnneNJunod @EnterpriseNow @ALIANZAAMERICAS @UICLCC @ChicagoOEMC @RossanaFor33 asks (remote) for successful models from other cities that may help serve as a blueprint for Chicago on how to respond to climate-related migration.
Wendy Wei @thewendyway 25/25
@BPNCchicago @ballesteros_312 @injusticewatch @NIJC @AldRodriguez22 @the48thward @AldPatDowell3rd @VOANews @Andrefor40th @40thforward @urbaninstitute @AnneNJunod @EnterpriseNow @ALIANZAAMERICAS @UICLCC @ChicagoOEMC @RossanaFor33 Meeting scheduled to adjourn at 3 p.m. for the Committee on Immigrant and Refugee Rights meeting, but I have to jump now. For more meeting coverage, check out .
Thanks for tuning in!
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Agency Information

Chicago City Council

The Chicago City Council is the legislative branch of the government of the City of Chicago and consists of the Mayor and Aldermen elected from each of the City’s fifty wards. Source

If you attend a meeting in person, be prepared to go through a security checkpoint and show photo ID.

Meetings are also livestreamed at https://www.chicityclerk.com/.

At this link, scroll down to “Meeting Notices.” Look for “Watch now” and click on the link with the meeting title to go to a livestream page. If you don’t see a link for the meeting, you may be early or the meeting may be starting late. Wait a few moments and try refreshing your Internet tab.

Recordings of past City Council meetings may be found here: https://vimeo.com/user100351763/videos/sort:date.

See also: “What to Expect at a Meeting of Chicago’s City Council” via the Better Government Association.

Documents

7/2/2024

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