A community hungry for advocacy: The Chicano Federation get back to their roots

This year’s UnidosUS Annual Conference will be hosted in San Diego, a community that celebrates Hispanic heritage and shows its contributions to American society through the exchange of cultures and commerce.

California is our largest Affiliate region, and San Diego is home to eight Affiliates supporting the Latino community. These Affiliates serve more than 150,000 clients in San Diego alone, in the areas of civic engagement, education, health, and housing.

In our Road to San Diego series, we highlight the inspiring work they are doing in their community and the power of collaboration and leadership that is inherit within the UnidosUS Affiliate Network.
Road to San Diego | Chicago Federation

“You’re back,” the community is saying. For a few years, UnidosUS Affiliate The Chicano Federation focused their work on providing services and moved away from their legacy of advocacy. However, things have turned around since Nancy Maldonado became the CEO earlier this year.

This year has also seen The Chicano Federation celebrate their 50th anniversary, and they are now full of new energy and new ideas to provide better services and becoming even stronger advocates for our community.

By Beatriz Paniego-Béjar, UnidosUS Content Specialist | All photos courtesy of UnidosUS Affiliate The Chicano Federation

From state and local advocacy, to education and economic work, as well as focusing on health, immigration, and affordable housing development, The Chicano Federation’s history is one of standing up for our community, in any way possible.

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Nereyda’s story: It’s never too late to pursue your dreams

UnidosUS Affiliate Northwest Side Housing Center is one of this year’s Affiliate Story Contest winners for sharing this story told by Nereyda, one of their clients who participated in their Women Forward Chicago initiative, a Latina-centered financial education program designed to create a safe space to set goals and build financial confidence.

Thinking about their students’ busy schedule, NWSHC offers a community-style workshop, with free daycare, nutritious meals, and access to community resources to benefit them and their families. Congratulations, NWSHC, and thank you for sharing the motivating stories of our community.

Nereyda and Carmen Landecho, who coordinates Women Forward Chicago.

Nereyda (at right) and Carmen Landecho, who coordinates Women Forward Chicago. Photo courtesy of NWSHC

My family moved here from Mexico when I was 12 years old, and I learned English the hard way. In high school, I took two years of medical assistant classes because I always dreamed of working in a hospital.

But I graduated, met a man, moved to Chicago, started having kids, and paused on my career. As my children grew up, I became a Local School Council member at Schubert Elementary School, which is when I learned about the [Northwest Side Housing Center’s] Women Forward program. So, I signed up.

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This week in immigration news — June 27, 2019

Immigration news

On Tuesday, the House of Representatives approved a $4.5 billion immigration spending package on a party-line vote.

The spending bill includes funding for addressing the humanitarian crisis on the border. However, the bill is likely to face steep opposition in the Senate, and President Trump has already signaled that he won’t sign it. Another measure is working its way through the Senate and has garnered more bipartisan support.

The Office of Refugee Resettlement has reported a 60% jump in the number of undocumented children under their care since 2018.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which the Office of Refugee Resettlement is part of, has struggled to provide proper oversight to shelters. The office has been plagued by staff shortages and inexperience when it comes to reuniting families and running the shelters under their watch. For example, HHS attempted to roll back educational and recreational programs at their shelters to save money, but was forced to reinstate the programs when they found that they had to run them under state law.

The office has also faced problems from the Trump administration itself, which has implemented measures related to sharing information with immigration authorities that have frightened would-be sponsors and caregivers from coming forward for undocumented children in HHS’s custody. Further compounding the problems the office is facing, they are in danger of running out of funds at the end of this month.

John Sanders, the acting Customs and Border Protection (CBP) commissioner, resigned this past Tuesday as more about the inhumane conditions migrant children have been kept in CBP facilities has come to light.

Mark Morgan, acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement is expected to be tapped for the spot. Morgan was Border Patrol chief toward the end of the Obama administration, but more recently has appeared on Fox News expressing hardline immigration views that are in line with those pursued by the Trump administration.

Speaking up for the six million at risk: Comment now against HUD’s proposed rule that would evict immigrant families from their homes

 July 9 marks the deadline to submit public comments on the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) proposed rule that would prohibit mixed-status families from living in public housing and receiving rental assistance, such as housing choice vouchers. UnidosUS strongly opposes the proposed rule, which, as Senior Policy Advisor Carlos Guevara states, “has a singular purpose, and that is to sow fear and division and create confusion in our communities. HUD should be focusing on reducing homelessness, not increasing it.”

Family in front of home

UnidosUS has prepared a comment letter to oppose the new HUD rule that would prohibit mixed-status families from living in public housing and participating in federal rental assistance programs, such as Section 8. Mixed-status families include at least one member who is ineligible for housing assistance based on immigration status.

Individuals and organizations can use the templates found at the link below to submit their own comment:

  • Download a template for an individual comment here
  • Download a template for an organization’s comment here

“Ineligible” does not equal “undocumented”: immigrants can have legal status and still be ineligible for housing assistance. According to a recent analysis of HUD administrative data presented on a webinar via #KeepFamiliesTogether, 85% of the families who would be impacted by this rule are Latino. We’re calling on our community to Brass Handle Jduskfl Kitchen Faucet Net Faucet Bathroom Faucet Top Grade Chrome Finished Bathroom Sink Faucet color Changing Led Waterfall Wall Mount Faucet Basin Water Tap Washing Accessory,Brass Handle on this rule.

You can use the templates above to state how this rule would affect your community, and/or relate experiences with the issue. You can learn more about this issue on this microsite from our partners at The National Housing Law Project and the National Low Income Housing Coalition. Add your voice to the discussion by submitting your comment here by July 9. 

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June 16 was the International day of Family Remittances, chosen by the United Nations General Assembly to recognize the contributions of “over 200 million migrants to improve the lives of their 800 million family members back home.” Half of these payments go to rural areas, “where poverty and hunger are concentrated, and where remittances count the most.”

International Day of Family Remittances

The numbers are striking: all remittances sent over the world add up to more than three times the amount of Official Development Assistance (government aid designed to promote the economic development and welfare of developing countries) and have also surpassed Foreign Direct Investment (an investment from a party in one country into a business in another country).

“Family remittances have a direct impact on the lives of one billion people—one out of seven individuals on earth,” says UN Secretary-General António Guterres.

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