Immigrant Connect Chicago is an online network for immigrants, refugees, their families and their communities.

Family

Over our first dinner, we touch the surface, probably hold back, and want more

By Ashley Hackett, Medill, Immigrant Connect It’s a summer night in suburban Minnesota, unmistakable for its sweltering humidity and cast of whining mosquitoes. Instrumental music plays softly in the background. I watch perspiration gather and slowly drip off my wine...

Back Home

Lilia’s support system makes it all possible

By Dana Brozost-Kelleher, Medill, Immigrant Connect I run into Lilia at our neighborhood grocery store, expecting the usual embrace. We are the only people in the frozen food aisle. I’m in high school at the time and she's a housekeeper, who lives and works in the...

Identity

President Trump is often criticized for characterizing particular groups of immigrants as unwelcome. Is this a new phenomenon in immigration history?

By Katie Rice, Medill, Immigrant Connect This past January, when discussing proposed protections for people entering the United States from El Salvador, Haiti and African countries as part of a bipartisan immigration deal, President Trump reportedly asked lawmakers,...

Work, Jobs and Money

TPS ends for Nicaraguans and Haitians, thousands more face uncertainty and the prospect of family separation

By Griselda Flores, Medill, Immigrant Connect Edwin Murillo’s home isn’t the same anymore. The joy filled by his two daughters has been replaced by uncertainty and instability in the past few weeks. Murillo is from El Salvador and has been a TPS recipient since 1999,...

The Migration

I learn to listen through thick water across distance and difference

By Camille Erickson, Medill, Immigrant Connect A glistening pile of salt the weight of a child spills forth onto the gallery floor, depicting the accumulated salt deposits along the shores of the Dead Sea. On top of the mound rests a small, plaid backpack with a teddy...

Culture Shock

As a refugee, what does it mean to be free?

By Ashley Hackett, Medill, Immigrant Connect When Imran Mohammad left Myanmar to escape the persecution of Rohingyan people, he never thought he would land in America, a country where everything was so different. If it were up to him, he’d have been able to live a...

Good Question

There are 5,000 visas available for survivors of human trafficking each year. Why are 75 percent not being given out?

By Mary Hall, Medill, Immigrant Connect When Estela De Los Rios and an FBI agent came to Santiago Perez Navarro’s door, he didn’t realize his “employer” — a woman named Betty — was acting illegally by withholding his salary and immigration documents, threatening him...

Fearing the Law

There are 5,000 visas available for survivors of human trafficking each year. Why are 75 percent not being given out?

By Mary Hall, Medill, Immigrant Connect When Estela De Los Rios and an FBI agent came to Santiago Perez Navarro’s door, he didn’t realize his “employer” — a woman named Betty — was acting illegally by withholding his salary and immigration documents, threatening him...

Learning the Language

How does being a non-native English speaker in the United States affect one’s integration into American culture?

By Paige Tortorelli, Medill, Immigrant Connect “Kuongeza bei kwa mzungu,” whispered one street vendor to another when I inquired about the price of a mango. The only word I could decipher from her Kiswahili sentence was “mzungu,” which meant “foreigner” – a word...

Problems With Papers

Chicago’s municipal ID program began last April. How well is it working to reduce barriers for the city’s immigrant population?

Yesenia Barrera takes time out of the English class he teaches at Universidad Popular to go over the city’s new municipal ID program. The program is available to all Chicago residents and was initiated not quite a year ago by the Office of the City Clerk. Without the...

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