05042017CM1709 rMajority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) issued the following statement in response to the Illinois Senate passing the Trust Act:

“There has been real fear and concern in the immigrant community following the election of President Trump. People shouldn’t have to go about their daily lives in fear because of their appearance or the color of their skin. This legislation ensures that parents can drop their children off at school and that people can seek medical attention without being in danger of deportation. I am pleased that Illinois has taken a step to prevent federal overreach and to foster a vital relationship of trust between immigrants and law enforcement in our communities.”

Senate Bill 31, which creates the Illinois Trust Act:

  • Bars law enforcement agencies in Illinois from engaging in immigration enforcement without a warrant from federal immigration agents.
  • Bars local participation in federal registry programs based on national origin or religion, such as a potential Muslim registry.
  • Establishes safe zones at schools, medical facilities, and properties operated by the Illinois secretary of state, where federal immigration enforcement would not be admitted without a valid criminal warrant.
  • Establishes deadlines for police to complete certification forms that are requested by immigrant victims of violent crimes who cooperate with police. The certifications are among the requirements for immigrant crime victims to apply for certain visas.

Additionally, the legislation prohibits state and local police from searching, arresting, or detaining a person based solely on citizenship or immigration status or an administrative warrant.

The measure does not prevent state and local police from conducting valid criminal investigations or serving criminal warrants.

Category: News Releases

Veteran Deportation Press ReleaseCHICAGO — In response to a judge ordering that U.S. Army veteran Miguel Perez Jr., who served two tours of duty in Afghanistan, must be deported, Senate Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) issued the following statement:

“Miguel Perez Jr. put his life on the line for the United States and should not be deported, which will separate him from his family and leave him without an adequate support system.

Mr. Perez, like many of our returning soldiers, was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. Here in Illinois and throughout the United States, we need to focus on strengthening employment, mental health and substance abuse programs to help veterans transition back into civilian life.

We should be enormously grateful for the sacrifices members of the armed forces make on our behalf. Deporting American heroes is wrong. I urge Governor Rauner to approve Mr. Perez’s clemency request when it gets to his desk.”

Category: News Releases

Martinez IWILL AwardSPRINGFIELD — The Illinois Women’s Institute of Leadership (IWIL) recently honored Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) with the Legacy and Leaders Award. Martinez was selected for the award because of her support for IWIL and commitment to helping women succeed in the public sector.

“I am humbled and grateful to receive an award from an organization that has provided training, leadership and networking opportunities for women,” said Martinez, who is an IWIL Board member. “If we want to have a direct role in shaping policies that deal with our education, pay, reproductive health and other issues that matter, then it’s important that women get involved in government and public policy.”

IWIL empowers women to be involved in the public sector. Each year, twelve women are selected throughout Illinois to participate in a fellowship program that focuses on leadership development, public speaking, media and communications, digital media strategy and other topics.

"IWIL is proud to celebrate Senator Martinez's passion and dedication to her community, and throughout Illinois, to advance women in leadership in public service," said IWIL President, Hon. Debra Shore.

Category: News Releases

NEIU PhotoCHICAGO — Illinois Senate Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) issued the following statement in response to news that Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU) will cancel three days of classes to cut costs as Governor Rauner has failed to produce a state budget that supports higher education.

“As a proud graduate of Northeastern Illinois University, it breaks my heart to see my alma mater facing this hardship because we have a governor whose refusal to negotiate a budget is dismantling higher education in Illinois.

A high percentage of Northeastern Illinois University students are Latinos, making it a critically important institution for advancing academic and career opportunities for many students in my district and in the Latino community. I support Northeastern Illinois University Interim President Richard J. Helldobler’s call for the state to fund higher education. The state needs to support state schools.

Sadly, what’s happening at Northeastern Illinois University is happening to colleges throughout Illinois. Classes being cancelled, furloughs, faculty layoffs and students deciding to go to college in other states have become too common. Governor, it’s time to do your job and start supporting higher education.”

NEIU’s El Centro campus, located in Martinez’s district, has been a focal point for access to higher education opportunities in the Latino community.

NEIU, which serves roughly 10,000 students, also recently closed for spring break to implement a weeklong furlough program and has had to let employees go due to the lack of a state budget.

 

Category: News Releases

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