Immigration reform is an ongoing issue in the United States. More than 1,100 immigrants are deported daily.
Montezz Allen interviews various protestors in the midst of their rally outside of the Chicago headquarters of immigration and Customs Enforcement.
By: Nana Aduba-Amoah
For my final project I wanted to write an article focusing on how immigration issues have affected ethnic groups that aren’t always highlighted in the media. According to this article by the Chicago Tribune, during the 1990s, the number of African immigrants in Chicago increased to what is now about 42,300, and Chicago now bears the fifth-largest African population. Most of the city’s African immigrant population is situated on the north side of Chicago, in areas like Uptown and Edgewater. Some East African refugees also live in these neighborhood because of its proximity to social service agencies. Uptown Chicago now bears a huge Ghanaian community, and is home to those Ghanaians who came to the United States as first-family immigrants, and have remained undocumented citizens trying to fight the complex immigration system put into place.
This article highlights the economic issues faced by African and Hispanic immigrants who are working hard to build their futures. The new immigration reform legislation could help expedite the process, grant citizenship to about 11 million undocumented immigrants, and give “dreamers” — or young, undocumented immigrants– the chance to earn their green card in about five years. Most importantly, it could help support the increasing number of immigrants coming to the “land of the free” to bask in the American dream that they’ve traveled across seas and borders for.
Illinois is ramping up to grant driver license to undocumented immigrants in December. Of course with new laws comes new problems, fraud is always a huge factor when something new is introduced. Basic qualifications are proof of Illinois residency for at least one year and proof of ineligibility of a social security card. Drivers take vision, written, and road tests as all driver licenses applicants must pass in order to be granted driving privileges in the state.
My final project will report on two or more families with undocumented relatives that can take advantage of the new law without being in fear of deportation. In past years when undocumented immigrants were involved in accidents they would leave the scene before filing a police report. Information will not be shared with immigration officials.
-By Montezz Allen
Starting December 2013, undocumented immigrants will be allowed to legally drive in the state of Illinois.
How did this come about?
Secretary of State Jessie White’s office said that Illinois will be issuing a temporary visitor’s license. The cost will be 30 dollars and it’ll help more than 500,000 undocumented immigrants in the state to operate a motor vehicle, legally, without any trouble.
With that said, my responsibility for our group’s final project will be to produce video. I plan on visualizing the way those of other countries feel about this specific law. Also, how it’ll impact family, friends, loved ones, etc.
Furthermore, I plan on contacting the Downtown Islamic Center as a source. I’ll try my best to interview leaders and other members of the mosque about this law. Another source I intend on contacting is a professor at DePaul’s who’s credible and can speak on this topic.
Although I plan on asking for their position on the new law issued by Secretary of State, I also will bring up immigration reform because not only is it an issue in the state of Illinois; it’s an issue all around the world, too.
For my final report, I was initially considering creating an audio slideshow that would combine photographs that I took along with voice-over recordings — either narration from me or statements from the people pictured. However, a project like this really needs an event to serve as a news “hook.” While I really want to do this idea, I may have to resort to a different one.
So, I would then write a paper (within the 500-to-750 word range suggested by the professor) about how immigration reform would affect undocumented immigrants living in Chicago. I would attempt to talk with a blogger from ChicagoNow (owned by Tribune Media) who writes about Latino issues to try and gain some insight from someone who has focused on the topic of immigration reform.
I would also attempt to contact several organizations. One group I would contact is the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, which is located in Chicago. I might also contact the National Immigrant Justice Center.