Census 2020

Your Response Matters!

Health clinics. Fire departments. Schools. Even roads and highways. The census can shape many different aspects of your community. Think of your local schools: Census results help determine how money is allocated for the Head Start program and for grants that support teachers and special education.Census results help determine how billions of dollars in federal funding flow into states and communities each year.

The Census is confidential and will not ask you for your citizenship status.

The results determine how many seats in Congress each state gets.

Remember that there is still time to fill out the census, click here to fill out online!

Please stay tuned for the We All Count in IL: Immigrant and Refugee Census Day June 1, 2020!

El Censo 2020

Su Respuesta Cuenta!

Clínicas de salud. Departamentos de bomberos. Escuelas. Hasta carreteras y autopistas. El Censo puede determinar muchos aspectos de su comunidad. Piense en sus escuelas locales. Los resultados del Censo ayudan a determinar cómo distribuir el dinero para los programas preescolares de Head Start y el apoyo para maestras de educación para estudiantes con discapacitación. Resultados del Censo determinan billones de dólares en fondos federales para los estados y sus comunidades cada año.

El Censo es confidencial y no le hará preguntas relacionadas a su estatus legal en el país ni le hará la pregunta de ciudadanía.

Los resultados también determinarán cuantos miembros del congreso recibirá cada estado.

Recuerde que la fecha límite del Censo fue extendida Llene su formulario en línea y en español hoy, haga clic aquí!

 Por favor manténgase al tanto de la campaña Todos Contamos en IL y el Día del Censo el 1ro de junio, 2020!

Northern Illinois Justice for Our Neighbors (NIJFON) Seeking: Program Coordinator (Full-Time)

Program Coordinator Job Description July 2020

Time Requirement: Full time 40 hours per week, Immediate opening.

Job description: The Program Coordinator will work with the Executive Director and perform programmatic education and advocacy activities as well as outreach and community education workshops, referrals, accompaniment and reporting. The position is based in Chicago and will support outreach to the immigrant communities throughout Northern Illinois. Due to Covid-19 work is expected to be done virtually and taking the precautions to protect and provide safety above all.

Basic Requirements:

  • Fluent in English and Spanish.
  • Familiarity with Google Apps and Cloud-based storage and sharing.
  • Passionate about immigrants’ rights and the vision and mission of JFON
  • Job responsibilities:
    • Recruit, train and coordinate leadership who will conduct outreach, give immigrant education trainings, coordinate citizenship classes and connect immigrants to legal support services as well as related advocacy.
    • Coordinate all education efforts of the public: provide workshops and trainings in churches, schools, community colleges, community centers, libraries, place of work and other community spaces.
    • Make follow up calls to community members and respond to all communications related to the program.
    • Coordinate referral and accompaniment process
    • Communicate regularly with all leadership and volunteers; serve as point of contact.
    • Prepare all outreach and presentation materials for presentations
    • Maintain complete and accurate records of all calls, contacts, referrals, and all data for reporting purposes.
    • Manage all record keeping and reporting through salesforce software on a monthly basis and prepare all monthly reports.
    • Assist with volunteer recruitment for presentations and workshops throughout Northern IL. 
    • Link community members to key service providers: community-based organizations, faith networks, legal clinics, mental health providers and consulates. 


  • Respond to all phone or email contacts within 48 hours of receiving.
  • Confirm all scheduled trainings, and accompaniments with leadership.

Salary: Compensation based on experience, benefits package that includes health insurance. 

Location: 77 W. Washington St. Suite 1820, Chicago IL 60602 

Organization: Our vision is a world where immigrants, refugees, and other migrant populations are welcomed, supported and able to live without fear. We work toward our vision by fulfilling our mission to offer free, high quality immigration legal services; engage congregations and communities in education and advocacy; and build cross-cultural community. NIJFON serves immigrant communities throughout Northern IL, our office is located at 77 W. Washington St. in Chicago. 

Begun in 2011, based on the model of National Justice for Our Neighbors, Northern Illinois JFON has flourished since inception, and we are seeking a Program Coordinator to continue to provide the highest quality of service to our clients and to work on education and advocacy efforts while we increase our capacity to meet the growing need for our services. 

Application: Submit Cover Letter, Resume and 2 References to the Personnel Committee at


Neither from here, nor from there: The struggle continues

“During the week that marked eight years since President Barack Obama announced the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA),” writes Claudia Marchan, executive director for Northern Illinois Justice for Our Neighbors, and herself a DACA recipient, “the Supreme Court ruled against the Trump Administration to end DACA and allows DACA to stay!

“This is a huge win for the immigrant community, but it is not the end of the struggle,” she continues. reminding us that DACA is a temporary status. “As we reflect on this gratifying and surprising victory from the Supreme Court, I share with you the story of one DACA recipient; I share with you my story.”

They are ni de aquí ni de alláneither from here, nor from there.

During the week that marked eight years since President Barack Obama announced Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) – a program that allows undocumented immigrant youth to apply for deferred action from deportation and obtain a work permit in the U.S – the Supreme Court ruled against the Trump Administration to end DACA and allowed DACA to stay!

This is a huge win for the immigrant community, but it is not the end of the struggle.  As we reflect on this gratifying and surprising victory from the Supreme Court, I share with you the story of one DACA recipient; I share with you my story . . . 

Growing up, I rarely felt different. I was reunited with my mom at the age of four and met my family, which included a new baby sister and a dad. The promise of family was what my mom reminded me of as I struggled to leave my grandmother’s side that day in August. Although my mom called me frequently to remind me that she would return, it was hard to leave Mama Socorro. 

I didn’t feel different because my mom reminded me every single day why she had to make the decision to leave. She was in search of a better life for the two of us. You see, she had struggled her whole life to get her education, shelter, and food.  Her dad, my grandfather, who passed away at the age of 35 when my mom was 14, sent her off to go to school in another town at the age of 12. When my mom tells us this story, she says “he didn’t have a formal education, he rode a horse, and ‘stole’ your grandmother at the age of 16, but somehow he knew that my future was not there in the rancho.”

I tell you this because this is where I come from, this is part of my story. The story of the struggle, pain, anger, and resilience of my mother is also my story. My mother immigrated to the United States at a time where she found immigration relief for herself. Not knowing the language and being afraid of what may happen to me as we were miles apart and separated by a border, she, unfortunately, couldn’t find immigration relief for me.

Today, I am “DACAmented,” and leading an immigration legal services nonprofit. I spend each day thinking not only of my struggles and pain but also of how these struggles and pain are present in close to 700,000 other “DACAmented” peers across the country. I know the opportunities we have had and of the opportunities that have been denied for those who were left out of DACA. I worry about the mixed status families and undocumented families that are denied safety and have been left out of all emergency funding during a world crisis.  I think about all the immigrants in detention centers that have been separated from their families, denied asylum, and exposed to a deadly pandemic. 

And now, I get to celebrate the close to 700,000  students, mothers, fathers, teachers, nurses, engineers, attorneys, accountants, scientists, community leaders, and especially those risking their lives every single day in front line jobs who can sleep better knowing that DACA is safe. Many of these DACAmented immigrants have risked their lives in front line jobs every single day throughout this pandemic while worrying about losing DACA protections every single night.

Throughout this pandemic, close to 700,000 of us have had to continue facing a world crisis with the threat of losing our status in this country. This reality left has left us short of living the American Dream and, instead, stuck in a nightmare. Today, we can celebrate waking up from this nightmare and, again, can have the opportunity to share in the American Dream. 

Growing up, I rarely felt different. But I really am different. I have grown up in a country that continues to push me to the side, deny me of my rights, and seeks to send me back to my country of birth. The truth is that yes, I am different, and, frankly, I am “ni de aqui, ni de alla” – neither from here nor from there. I have lived in the United States for 33 of my 37 years of life. I went to kindergarten here, got my bachelor’s degree here, got my master’s degree here, got married here, had my children here, celebrated my mom’s 60th birthday here. This is where I fought the government for unjustly putting my dad in a detention center. I was born in Mexico and, since Mama Socorro passed away, the Mexico that I vaguely remember is not the same without her. 

 The Supreme Court decision today that blocks the Trump Administration from ending DACA is a huge win, but it is not the end of our struggle. DACA recipients and all undocumented immigrants need and deserve a pathway to citizenship. We need to embrace, welcome, and help immigrants live safely in the United States. As I saw the decision come in, my heart was beating fast, and tears of joy streamed down my face. For today we have won, but I invite you to demand and continue to work on comprehensive immigration reform for our immigrant communities and for a fair and just immigration system.

I invite you to join me in this fight.

Our Immigration Work Continues during COVID-19

Our immigration work is forever challenging: there is a humanitarian crisis at the border with MPP, asylum bans, families in detention centers, separation of families, delays with immigration, increased request for evidence, public charge rule, elimination of fee waivers and increases in USCIS applications to name a few. Just when we thought it could not get much worse, we are hit with COVID-19 and everything that we just mentioned now has a new and more urgent meaning. The humanitarian crisis at the border is now heightened with migrants not only having to worry about what to eat and where to sleep but also about remaining healthy and free of the virus. By being denied entry into the country they are faced with inhumane situations in which they do not have access to resources that they need to remain safe and healthy. Families continue to be separated and cannot quarantine with their loved ones, uncertain of their family members health and fate. 

As a local organization working on immigration legal services, we continue to serve our clients everyday-just a little differently now. As I write you this newsletter I am sitting in my daughter’s room while my husband keeps our two kids busy in another room. Our attorneys are working remotely and taking turns with legal staff to check into the office to pick up mail and send out important client documents.  We have been on the phone with clients and with immigrants looking for services. We notice that many of them are asking for other services-like where to get help with utilities and questions related to COVID-19. Their immediate needs have shifted slightly as they struggle to keep their families safe and worry about being laid off work.

Through our rich network and dear partners, we are able to provide resources that may be available to them and we try to help in any way that we can. Our focus is on keeping connected with our clients and continuing to work on their cases as much as we can.  Please read below for more information on the immigration courts and our legal work, resources available due to the virus and how you can help protect immigrants during this time of need and uncertainty.

Stay healthy and check in on your loved ones as much as you can.

In solidarity,

Claudia Marchan,

Executive Director NIJFON