Springfield Dominican Sister Marcelline Koch, OP, is part of a new Springfield area group called Immigrant and Refugee Partners. The group is a coalition of community strategic partners to provide education, advocacy and support to immigrants and refugees in our Springfield, IL. The group is offering a free immigration training. The event, Immigration 101: Immigrant and Refugee Ally Training, will be held on Saturday, August 12, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the University of Illinois Springfield, Public Administration Center, Conference Room C/D.
Immigrant and refugee allies are trained community leaders to refer, help, guide, and protect immigrants. The goal of this training is to provide trusted advocates, educators, and mentors with resources and tools to become aware of immigrants’ needs and to help build a wide network of referrals to legal, social service, and governmental agencies. This training is open to any community member who wishes to learn more about immigration issues.
Sr. Marcelline expresses “hope that persons take advantage of this opportunity to be informed so that they can compassionately respond to those in vulnerable situations.”
Recently Immigrant and Refugee Partners asked the Illinois Senate and then the governor to sign the Illinois Trust Act, which would ensure that citizens asking for help from law enforcement officials will not have to fear being held by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents to check on their citizenship status. The legislation has been sitting on the governor’s desk since May 5 after it was passed by the state legislature. He can choose to approve, veto or take no action by August 28.
The Springfield Dominican Sisters are committed to justice for immigrants and refugees. This passion stems from basic principles of Catholic social teaching on immigration and their corporate stance on dismantling racism. The congregation operates two Dominican Literacy Centers, in Aurora and Melrose Park, to help immigrant women learn to read, write, and speak English, as well as helping immigrant women and men prepare to pass their naturalization test and become new U.S. citizens.
Koch said, “I see all these efforts as concrete ways that we collaborate in bringing to birth the kind of world we want to inhabit – one of mercy, compassion, and justice.”
Flyer for Immigration 101: Immigrant and Refugee Ally Training: http://tiny.cc/Immigration101-Flyer
Registration for Immigration 101: Immigrant and Refugee Ally Training: http://tiny.cc/SpringfieldAllies