Senator Steans

February 3, 2017

Dear Friends,


Welcome Asylum Seekers and RefugeesLike many of you, I have been deeply disturbed by the president’s decision to halt refugees from entering our country and to ban immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries.


Given the fluidity of the situation, I’ve included the latest update on the ban and information on organizations that are helping refugees and immigrants below.


President Donald Trump signed an executive order last Friday banning refugees from entering the United States for 120 days and barring Syrian refugees indefinitely. Immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries are barred from entering the United States for 90 days.


We are all immigrantsAlthough the White House has touted this executive order as a way to protect the nation from terrorists, experts have stated that this immigration ban is unlikely to reduce the threat of terrorism in the United States.



The president’s actions are being challenged in court. A federal judge blocked part of the executive order that would have allowed the government to deport refugees and immigrants who had arrived in the United States. Four states have filed lawsuits against the Trump administration to stop enforcement of the ban, and 16 attorneys general have issued a statement vowing to fight the president’s ban.


The White House has changed its stance on green card holders. Initially officials said that green card holders from the seven banned countries would be reviewed on a case-by-case basis to determine if they could re-enter the country. The White House reversed that decision, stating that the travel ban does not affect green card holders but that border agents could detain and question travelers from certain countries.


I am committed to doing what I can to help the immigrants and refugees affected by the president’s ban. I will support our federal leaders and do what I can to ensure that Illinois remains an immigrant-friendly state. I encourage those of you who are able to lend a helping hand. Together, we can overcome this moral test.


As always, please do not hesitate to contact my office at 773-769-1717 or online with any questions or concerns.


Heather Steans
Senator Heather Steans
7th District – Illinois



Volunteer as a lawyer or translator at O’Hare


Lawyers and interpreters are needed at O’Hare International Airport to help those affected by the travel ban. Sign up for volunteer shifts at this link. The group is stationed in Terminal 5 across from a McDonald’s. This article contains more information on some of the lawyers and interpreters volunteering at O’Hare, including several from District 7.


Organizations assisting refugees and immigrants


  • Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR)
    ICIRR is “dedicated to promoting the rights of immigrants and refugees to full and equal participation in the civic, cultural, social, and political life of our diverse society.” It partners with organizations to educate immigrant and refugee communities about their rights and to promote civic participation and citizenship.

  • World Relief
    World Relief partners “with local churches to end the cycle of suffering, transforming lives and building sustainable communities.” Its initiatives range from refugee and immigration services to health and child development and disaster response.

  • National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC)
    NIJC is “dedicated to ensuring human rights protections and access to justice for all immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers.” It provides pro bono legal services to more than 10,000 people each year and obtains asylum for 90 percent of their cases.

  • Refugee One
    Refugee One’s mission statement is: “We create opportunity for refugees fleeing war, terror, and persecution to build new lives of safety, dignity, and self-reliance.” It is a refugee resettlement agency that provides a variety of services in the Chicago area.

  • Catholic Charities
    Catholic Charities assists refugees who have resettled in Chicago by offering a variety of services, including help securing housing, lessons on public transportation and enrollment in English classes.

  • Centro Romero
    A community-based organization that serves immigrants and refugees on the northeast side of Chicago. It offers youth programs, adult education, family services and legal services.

  • Ethiopian Community Association of Chicago
    The Ethiopian Community Association of Chicago is committed to serving the cultural, psychological and socio-economic needs of refugees and immigrants. It assists in the promotion of personal growth, financial stability, positive family and community relations and community empowerment.

  • Iraqi Mutual Aid Society
    The Iraqi Mutual Aid Society fosters the well-being and self-sufficiency of Iraqi refugees and immigrants in the United States. It eases their transition to life in America, forges connections between Iraqi and American societ, and facilitates the preservation and exchange of Iraqi culture.

In addition, here is a link to the many social service organizations in our community that are dedicated to providing support and services to immigrants and refugees.


Federal Representatives


U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky
5533 N. Broadway


U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley
3223 N. Sheffield Ave.


U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin
230 S. Dearborn St., Suite 3892


U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth
230 S. Dearborn St., Suite 3900




District Office

5533 N. Broadway • Chicago, IL 60640

773-769-1717 (Phone) • 773-769-6901 (Fax)


Springfield Office

623 Capitol Building • Springfield, IL 62706

217-782-8492 (Phone)



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District Office
5533 N. Broadway
Chicago, IL 60640
Office: 773-769-1717
Fax: 773-769-6901

Springfield Office
627 Capitol Building
301 S. Second St.
Springfield, IL 62706
Office: 217-782-8492