By Husnaa Vhora
CIOGC joined the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) summit on March 4 at the Chicago Teacher’s Union to introduce support for new legislation which would protect immigrants and refugees. The summit was emceed by Nareman Taha, co-founder of Arab American Family Services (AAFS), a CIOGC member organization, who immediately engaged the crowd by saying, “Together, we the people, all of us have the power to change.” CIOGC delegation included Dr. Kaiseruddin, CIOGC Board member.
The summit touched on important legislation, including the Immigration Safe Zone Act, the Illinois Trust Act, and the Student Access Bill. ICIRR also pushed support of an equitable budget that fully funds the immigration integration line and supports Illinois’ vulnerable communities so that all Illinois residents can meet their full potential.
Several faith groups were also in attendance, including the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs (JCUA). Executive Director Judy Levy recited a verse from the Book of Leviticus: “When a stranger resides with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong.”
Elected officials such as State Representatives, Jan Schakowsky, Bill Foster and Mike Quigley, as well as Cook County Commissioner, Chuy Garcia, were in attendance, and made promises to support the proposed legislation. Garcia ended on a note of solidarity and unity. “I want to thank the Muslim and Jewish Communities for showing us unity and solidarity. Let’s leave the hateful campaign rhetoric in 2016. A harm against one is a harm against all of us. We’ll continue to make cook country a safe zone for everyone.”