Congradulations to Adolfo Hernandez

By: Daniel Nardini

Last July, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel created the Chicago Office of New Americans. Modeled after a similar Illinois office currently headed by Denise Martinez, this office will help immigrants and immigrant families in ways other Chicago departments cannot. The Office of New Americans will provide information and access to U.S. citizenship, college scholarships, English language classes and programs, and encourage business and entrepreneurship. Last week, Mayor Emmanuel named Adolfo Hernandez as the director for the Office of New Americans. Mayor Emmanuel truly made an excellent choice. Age 29, Adolfo Hernandez is the son of immigrants who came to Chicago from Mexico. Mr. Hernandez was born, raised and educated in Chicago’s Little Village community. Mr. Hernandez was former board president of the Logan Square Neighborhood Association, and having grown up with immigrants and the families of immigrants, Mr. Hernandez is very familiar with the hopes, dreams and hardships that they endure. The son of parents who were themselves undocumented and struggled to make a life for themselves in this country, he is sympathetic to the plight of the undocumented and refugees.

The City of Chicago and Cook County are self-declared immigrant sanctuaries. This means that no public official can question the immigration status of anyone needing services. This in of itself makes both very immigrant friendly whether an immigrant is a U.S. citizen, a legal permanent resident, or an undocumented person. I am happy that the City of Chicago is making a concerted effort to become an immigrant friendly place considering all of the unfriendly immigrant states and locales that have been springing up over the past few years. No matter what their status, immigrants have and remain the life-blood of the American economy, our society, and yes eventually the political process. Frankly, I am very happy that such an office has been set up in Chicago—we need more such offices in other cities around the country. As if life is not hard enough for immigrants these days, enduring legally sanctioned discrimination laws (as in the cases of Arizona, Alabama and Georgia) has only made it worse. Thank goodness the City of Chicago has gone in the opposite direction trying to help immigrants when they need it the most. We at the Lawndale News wish to congratulate Adolfo Hernandez on his appointment as director of the Office of New Americans, and we wish him all the best in his new career!

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