A Global Welcome: Metro Chicago’s Approach to Immigrant Inclusion

Paul N. McDaniel and Rob Paral
Date of Publication: 
September, 2020
Source Organization: 

This report provides an overview of the Chicago region’s immigrant inclusive policies and attempts to provide context for the area’s relatively positive attitude toward immigrants.  Numerous tables and charts quantify the local immigrant population including countries of origin and socioeconomic characteristics.  Statistics are provided on the legal statuses of the area’s immigrants and the nature of their mixed-status families.  More than 1.6 million immigrants constitute 19 percent of the region’s population. Chicago’s proactive policies are facilitated by an Office of New Americans that promotes immigrant access to library resources, helps with small business creation, and provides counseling to Dreamers. A Welcoming City ordinance seeks to protect immigrants from detention and deportation.  The report describes other steps taken by Chicago and also by Cook County, the state and regional non-governmental organizations to welcome immigrants.  Multiple immigrant-serving agencies are described in terms of their role in advocacy, policy development, workforce development, and cultural representation.  Numerous immigrant leaders of local organizations are profiled in the publication. According to the report, the State of Illinois and the city of Chicago have among the most immigrant-friendly public policies in the nation.  In 2020 Illinois created a state-funded insurance program for undocumented seniors.  The state also funds immigration legal aid for undocumented immigrants, and prohibits for-profit immigrant detention centers.  Chicago recently expanded its prohibitions against the Chicago Police Department cooperating with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.  The city funds immigration legal aid, and has been ranked the “most immigrant friendly city in America.” (Rob Paral, Rob Paral & Associates)

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McDaniel, P. & Paral, R. (2020, September). A Global Welcome: Metro Chicago’s Approach to Immigrant Inclusion. Chicago Council on Global Affairshttps://globalaffairs.org/research/report/global-welcome-metro-chicagos-approach-immigrant-inclusion