Martinez Immigration Photo 2SPRINGFIELD — Today, Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) is expressing her anger with Gov. Bruce Rauner’s proposed cuts to programs that are vital to immigrants.

“Governor Rauner and President Trump have the same agenda of harming immigrants,” Martinez said. “It’s sad that the governor unveiled a budget yesterday that would eliminate services designed to help immigrants make contributions to Illinois’ economy and culture.”

The governor’s proposed budget would eliminate funding for immigrant integration services and welcoming centers. In all three of his budgets he has proposed eliminating funding for these programs.

Immigrant integration services include language assistance, health care, citizenship services and other basic supports. Welcoming Centers serve as lifelines to our state’s newest residents by offering classes and providing information on topics such as employment training and home ownership.

“I’m appalled by the governor’s lack of support for our state’s newest residents,” Martinez said. “Governor Rauner and President Trump’s policies demonstrate why it’s so important to support immigrants. Today and every day, I wholeheartedly support efforts to honor our immigrants and invest in their future.”

The governor gave his budget address one day before A Day Without Immigrants, which occurs today and is a day of action designed to honor immigrants and push back against Trump’s immigration policies. Pro-immigrant groups and activists will be highlighting the importance of immigrants.


Category: News Releases

Martinez 2017 Budget ReactSPRINGFIELD — After listening to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s budget address, Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) issued the following statement:

“I am deeply frustrated with the governor. He once again failed to meet his constitutional requirement of presenting a balanced budget. While the governor fails to do his job, the state’s backlog of bills is growing, public universities are going without needed state aid and programs for seniors, youth services and victims of sexual assault are left without state funding.

Since the governor doesn’t want to do his job and get serious about getting Illinois out of the budget impasse he created, I’ll continue working with my colleagues in the Senate to do his job for him. The people of Illinois deserve a balanced budget that funds higher education, human services and other core services.”



Category: News Releases

Real ID PhotoSPRINGFIELD — Drivers could apply for a driver’s license that meets federal ID requirements and makes it easier for them to fly under a plan passed through the Senate Executive Committee today by Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago).

Martinez’s initiative creates a two-tiered REAL ID system under which applicants for drivers’ licenses and identification cards may choose to apply for either a REAL ID-compliant license/ID card or a non-compliant license/ID card.

“What’s good about having a two-tiered system is that it gives people a choice,” Martinez said. “If someone knows they aren’t going to be flying or choose not to be REAL ID compliant, then there is another option available for them.”

Illinois has been taking strides to become fully REAL ID-compliant and has an extension from the federal government to become compliant by October 2017. However, the Department of Homeland Security has said that by January, 2018, passengers with a driver’s license issued in a state that is not compliant with the REAL ID Act will have to show an alternative form of identification to board a plane.

Under Martinez’s proposal, applicants for REAL ID-compliant identification must present documents including a certified copy of their birth certificate and immigration documents or a U.S. passport. Non-compliant licenses and ID cards will be issued pursuant to current requirements.

“The two-tiered system has been used successfully in other states that have achieved full REAL ID compliance,” Martinez said. “It’s imperative that Illinois has a system in place that is efficient and responsive to the needs of the people of our state.”

States such as Arizona, Nevada, West Virginia and Wisconsin offer the two options. In Wisconsin, only 22 percent of citizens have chosen to apply for the REAL ID-compliant card. Wisconsin officials have stated that many citizens who do not fly or visit federal facilities have opted for the noncompliant card.

Martinez’s legislation, Senate Bill 674, is supported by the Illinois Secretary of State’s office.

“This legislation gives customers the right to choose between applying for a REAL ID-compliant DL/ID and a noncompliant DL/ID,” said Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White. “If you are someone who doesn’t use air travel or have a reason to visit a federal facility or military base, or prefer to use a U.S. passport which itself is considered REAL ID compliant, the noncompliant card may be a viable option.”

The federal REAL ID Act, passed by Congress in 2005, establishes standards for issuing identification cards and prevents federal agencies from accepting identification cards from state’s that have not implemented the act’s requirements.

Category: News Releases

Martinez State of the State AddressSPRINGFIELD — Senate Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) issued the following statement in response to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s State of the State address in which he did not address President Trump’s immigration plans:

“It’s unfortunate that Governor Rauner did not use his State of the State address to stand up for the residents of our state who will be hurt by the president’s action on immigration. The governor did talk about bipartisanship, but if he truly wants bipartisanship then he should get behind the plan being worked on by the Senate that would get Illinois a budget that funds higher education and programs for seniors, the addicted and other vulnerable populations.

I want to voice my strong opposition to President Donald Trump’s positions on building a wall at our southern border and on sanctuary cities. This great nation was founded by immigrants.  A fair, humane treatment to newcomers to our nation is at the core of what it means to be an American. Mr. Trump’s actions go against who we are and what we believe in. We should build better mechanisms of understanding with our allies, friends and neighbors, not walls.

Concerning the president’s position on destroying sanctuary cities, he needs to understand his position on this issue will increase the uncertainty and fear many resident of Illinois feel. The president is not ‘making America great again,’ he is making Americans and immigrants feel fearful and unwelcome.

If the governor would stand up for his constituents instead of remaining silent about Trump’s immigration plans, the people of Illinois would be better off.”


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Office Information

Springfield Office:
413 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-8191
District Office:
2921 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Chicago, IL 60618
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