Dear GEO Members,
As many of you have probably heard, President Donald Trump's immigration raids are scheduled to begin this Sunday, July 14th, and will specifically target immigrant populations in our cities and neighborhoods. While the president postponed planned raids last month, the threat to immigrant families remains very real. If you hear from an immigrant, you yourself are an immigrant, or have immigrant students in need in the coming days and weeks, we have some resources that can help you.
While the City of Urbana is a sanctuary city, it does not mean deportations do not happen in Champaign and Urbana. Champaign still has not declared itself a sanctuary city, nor has the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign explicitly declared itself a sanctuary campus, though it has expressed support for undocumented students. Our union declared itself a sanctuary union last August. GEO Local 6300 stands in solidarity with all communities under attack, and understands that the time for unity is now. Standing united with all workers, particularly the most vulnerable among us, is key to beating back the attack on our unions, our communities, and our standard of living in the years to come.
There are three immediate things you can do if you are experiencing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) activity:
If an ICE agent knocks on your door, DO NOT OPEN IT! Law enforcement agents must have a warrant signed by a judge to require you to open your door.
Record, document and share any ICE activity in your community. Take pictures, use video, get as much information as you can and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Click here for information on how to safely record ICE activity.
Contact your elected officials and community leaders. It's critical to give local officials and community leaders a heads up and urge them to get out statements in opposition to every single raid. Click here to find your state and federal officials. Click here to identify your Champaign or Urbana city officials.
Local, state and national immigrant rights projects and government agencies have assembled toolkits, resources and Know Your Rights flyers with information about immigrants' rights and how we can support them, and they are listed below:
Here are some resources that our allies at the Chicago Teachers Union has compiled.
Millions of immigrants are at risk from ICE raids, including families who have fled political repression and state violence from nations that range from Honduras and Guatemala to Saudi Arabia and the Sudan. Some immigrants, including Rohingya, many Kurds, and over half of Palestinians are technically stateless and at real risk of permanent incarceration by ICE. The State of Illinois has prepared KYR flyers in languages that include English, Polish, Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Russian and Spanish to support undocumented immigrants—including stateless immigrants. Share them widely.
The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights has assembled a Know Your Rights toolkit for immigrants. Please pass the link along to all who need it.
If you or someone you know experiences an ICE raid, please call 1-855- HELP- MY-FAMILY or 1-855-435-7693 immediately and report it.
Check out the IS IT A RAID? infographic in English and Spanish by OCAD—Organized Communities Against Deportations—for more information on how to identify and report immigration activity. Contact OCAD if you see or suspect any ICE activity. Let OCAD or another trusted organization confirm any suspected raid BEFORE sharing information publicly. OCAD's hotline number is 855-435-7693, where you can also access information about DACA, immigration support and more.
There are rapid response teams throughout the state ready to protect our communities. If you are already part of a local rapid response team, or would like support in developing one, please contact Evelyn Venegas at email@example.com.
Groups like La Villita Se Defiende have also produced information and rights flyers. Download the LVSD flyer at this link and share it.
Locally, the University YMCA’s New American Welcome Center has compiled a good list of resources in the area, from a helpline to resources on legal assistance. Find them here.
If you, your colleagues, or your students cannot afford legal services but need them, check out The Immigration Project, which is an organization that provides low cost immigration services for downstate Illinois. Right now, they are not taking any new clients until after August 1st.
La Linea is a helpline for the immigrant community. They connect people to resources such as housing, legal services, employment, and more. Their services are free and confidential. They also offer interpretation/translation services and can come with someone to their appointment. You can call/text them at 217-417-5897. Their hours are Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm. Their email is firstname.lastname@example.org. To see someone in person go to the University YMCA located at 1001 S Wright St, Champaign, IL 61820 (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm) or The Urbana Free Library located at 210 W Green St, Urbana, IL 61801 on Mondays, 6pm-8pm .
Feel free to send this email to whomever needs it. If there are other resources not listed here that you would like to share, please email email@example.com.
Graduate Employees’ Organization
809 S. 5th St., Geneva Room
Champaign, IL 61820