Illinois General Assembly Provides Over $90 Million in Key Relief to Address Disparities

Courtesy of Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - BusinessThe Illinois General Assembly has concluded its special session to pass a state budget and address the COVID-19 pandemic.  As part of our advocacy for our Everybody In platform, the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) urged state legislators to address the needs of immigrants that the pandemic laid bare.  In particular, ICIRR and our members and allies advocated that the state provide emergency relief for immigrant families who were excluded from federal tax rebates and assistance programs. ICIRR members engaged thousands of Illinois residents in pressuring legislators through emails, sign-on letters, pledges, phone calls, tweets and virtual town halls, all while sheltered in place. These efforts culminated in major investments in COVID relief for the state’s most vulnerable residents.  

We applaud the General Assembly for providing significant funding for services to immigrant families.  The budget passed provides over $90 million in investments to immigrant communities in response to the pandemic. It increases the Immigrant Services Line Item from $6.5 million to $30 million and provides $30 million in additional funding for the Department of Human Services welcoming centers for immigrants.  The budget also allocates $32 million from federal COVID relief funding to the welcoming centers to assist families affected by the pandemic. Moreover, the budget includes significant investments in rental assistance to the state’s lowest-income renters and an expansion of Medicaid to vulnerable elderly uninsured residents in our state. Both of these supports are available to Illinois residents regardless of immigration status. In the coming months, ICIRR leaders will follow up with our elected representatives at all levels as well as other allies to discuss how we will continue to push for our Everybody In platform and provide what our communities need. 

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Business

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