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(Chicago, IL) -- On Saturday, September 16, AFIRE Chicago facilitated an Immigration Know Your Rights Workshop to talk about current immigration policy, such as the the recent decision to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), as well as the newly enacted TRUST Act. The workshop engaged attendees in a set of role playing scenarios intended to build confidence asserting their basic constitutional rights. Around 35 community members showed up to the workshop, the majority of them Filipino immigrants.
Attorneys Lesley Arca, Ray Sagun, and Mark Calaguas (also an AFIRE board member), from the Filipino American Lawyers Association of Chicago (FALA Chicago), and Vân Hyunh, an immigration attorney with P.A.S.O. (Proyecto de Accion de los Suburbios del Oeste, or the West Suburban Action Project) volunteered their time to attend the workshop, providing additional support and knowledge regarding legal action.
Eric, a community member and DACA recipient, shared his thoughts:
“The KYR workshop was very helpful to me. My takeaway from the presentation was the difference between a judicially issued warrant versus an ICE warrant of removal. This information is important so that we know how to protect our family’s rights if ICE ever shows up at our door. It was also very reassuring that lawyers were present in the workshop to answer all our questions.
“We are living in a time where the fate of dreamers is being debated. Things are changing and as dreamers, we must be prepared to stand up for ourselves and our community. I am thankful to AFIRE for holding this KYR workshop and providing reliable information and a safe space. As I left that workshop, I could not help but to repeat a powerful truth; an informed community is a strong community.”
The KYR Workshop is a much needed response to community concerns, as many continue to feel threatened by the Administration's aggressive agenda and stance against immigrant policy.
Statement from Hannah Doruelo, AFIRE’s community organizer:
"I feel like our Know Your Rights workshop was a meaningful win for our community. That's all thanks to the openness and willingness to engage from everyone in the room! I hope that each workshop participant--regardless of citizenship status--left feeling informed on their rights and empowered to exercise their rights in different situations. Given today's culture of hostility towards immigrants, many in our community understandably feel alone, confused, and afraid.
“More than anything, I hope that our workshop demonstrated the power of knowledge and of a unified community. The Trump administration's attack on our undocumented and immigrant siblings is an attack on our entire community. Whether youth or elder, everyone has a role to play in protecting and uplifting our community. Moving forward, I hope that people share what they have learned with their family and friends, as well as continue to show up to AFIRE events and show up for our community. We're stronger when we look out for one another and work together. Padayon!"
For those interested in future KYR Workshops, please subscribe to our emailing list to stay updated on events and actions. There will be a Know Your Rights Workshop on Immigration on November 11, 10am to 1pm at 4300 N California Ave, led by The Filipino American Lawyers Association of Chicago (FALA Chicago). This will be a free educational event on Immigrant issues affecting the Filipino/Filipino American community, presented by attorneys. To register for this event go to: bit.ly/ChicagoKYR.
Listed below are resources developed and/or used by AFIRE’s Community Organizer, Hannah Doruelo.