Over 200 Community Navigators Gather To Fight Deportations
by Diana Pando
On April 1st, community leaders and elected officials joined over 200 Community Navigators at Benito Juarez Community Academy to call for a stop to the expanded deportation efforts by the current administration.
The Community Navigators Convention was organized by The Resurrection Project (TRP) in partnership with the Southwest Organizing Project, Hana Center, Erie Neighborhood House, Indo-American Center, United African Organization, Instituto del Progreso Latino, Centro Romero Centro de Trabajadores Unidos, and the National Partnership for New Americans.
The convention was kicked-off by Immigrant leaders who welcomed 300 participants to the full-day conference designed to educate and empower Community Navigators. The event was led by a series of powerful testimonials from the Community Navigators who spoke on why they are a part of this initiative. Mayor, Rahm Emanuel was also in attendance and let the audience know that he will continue to support sanctuary status for the City of Chicago and stands behind its immigrant community.
In late 2016, TRP led efforts to advocate for funding to provide protection to Chicago’s immigrants. As a result, Mayor Emanuel and the Chicago City Council passed the Chicago Legal Protection Fund. This fund provides a $1.3 million dollar budget for Community Navigators to directly assist over 20,000 immigrants. TRP is training Navigators who go into the neighborhoods where immigrants live and in the languages they speak and give know your rights trainings, and the Heartland Alliance’s National Immigrant Justice Center, provides legal representation and legal screenings.
“Today, we have 227 Community Navigators who have reached over 5,500 Chicago immigrants educating them on their rights and what to do if ICE shows up at their house,” said Erendira Rendon, The Resurrection Project’s (TRP) Director of National Partnerships.
During the Community Navigator’s convening, participants got an opportunity to attend a variety of educational sessions including workshops on important topics like Protection of Assets, Guardianship, Know Your Rights, Workers’ Rights, and Citizenship. This year, the Community Navigators will work towards their goal of reaching 20,000 Chicago Immigrants and continue to organize and stop deportations. They also plan on building more partnerships to take more trainings into different communities. View video of the event…
For more information on becoming a Community Navigator please email Erendira Rendon at [email protected]