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In May 2021, the Center for Agriculture and Food Systems published Essentially Unprotected: A Focus on Farmworker Health Laws and Policies Addressing Pesticide Exposure and Heat-Related Illness as a companion report to the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future's report Essential and in Crisis: A Review of the Public Health Threats Facing Farmworkers in the US. Both reports focused on the public health threats facing farmworkers in the United States. Essentially Unprotected specifically addressed pesticide exposure and heat-related illness, highlighting the gaps in federal law in addition to state efforts to fill those gaps.This report was conceived by farmworker advocates to expand on the research and analysis contained in Essentially Unprotected. In continued partnership with Farmworker Justice, CAFS seeks to create resources to support the expansion of laws and policy that can improve conditions for workers throughout the food system. This report is part of a series that spotlights various issues affecting farmworkers where law and policy can play a role in offering protection.The direction of this report was influenced heavily by interviews with farmworker advocates in various states. Through these conversations, it became clear that the legal and regulatory landscape of pesticide law enforcement is complex given the cooperative relationship between federal and state governments and the myriad agencies involved at both levels. This resource is intended to provide clarity on pesticide regulation enforcement efforts to enable advocates and law and policymakers to identify opportunities for improvement. It concludes with a set of recommendations to better protect the health and safety of the farmworkers who comprise an integral part of our food system
New research from the American Immigration Council highlights the crucial role immigrants in Illinois are playing to help address critical workforce shortages in the healthcare field. To meet the growing need for physicians and nurses, especially in rural counties, the state will need to implement policies that not only attract and retain immigrant talent that is complementary to the U.S.-born workforce, but that also build career pathways for the immigrants who already call the state home. This research brief highlights the growing demand for healthcare workers in the state and the need to reduce barriers for internationally trained professionals.
As Chicago works to come back from the pandemic, years of disinvestment and structural racism have made economic recovery harder for some communities than others. To have a truly equitable recovery, it's important to understand the on-going impact the pandemic has had on Black and Latinx communities hit hard by job loss, sickness, and death. In collaboration with The Chicago Community Trust and We Rise Together: For an Equitable and Just Recovery, New America Chicago commissioned a report from BECOME to learn more about how these communities were recovering and what is still needed from local and federal policymakers for these communities to not just recover but thrive.We Rise Together is a coalition of corporate and philanthropic funders working with the community to accelerate equitable economic recovery in the Chicago region. Housed at The Chicago Community Trust, We Rise Together is increasing employment opportunities for Black and Latinx workers, strengthening businesses of color, and spurring investment in disinvested neighborhoods. Because We Rise Together is committed to grounding the initiative's efforts in the lived experiences of Chicago's most marginalized communities, the decision was made to host Community Conversations across Chicago neighborhoods that have been hardest hit by the pandemic. A team from BECOME worked with New America Chicago, The Trust, and We Rise Together to plan seven Community Conversations in collaboration with nonprofits from each neighborhood. Participants had strong recommendations for support and resources to help their neighborhoods recover economically from the pandemic. Consistently, across all neighborhoods, we heard that people struggled and continue to struggle economically and emotionally as a result of the pandemic. Still, most found unexpected positives in the midst of the pandemic.
Immigrants in Illinois are diverse in their ethnicities, cultures, immigration statuses, and economic standing. Unfortunately, the most vulnerable immigrants lack adequate, equitable access to healthcare due to barriers presented by the healthcare system, including limited healthcare coverage options for undocumented individuals. As healthcare becomes a national priority, heightened because of the COVID-19 pandemic, undocumented immigrants have often been excluded from policy solutions. ICIRR and its members have been advocating at the national, state and local levels for many years to ensure that immigrants are included, if possible, in all policy solutions. Despite these efforts, many individuals remain uninsured, including over 180,000 who are undocumented in Illinois and many more who are not aware of their health coverage options or their healthcare rights.With the goal of expanding health coverage and fulfilling one of our organizational goals of community empowerment, ICIRR along with six key partners in the Chicago suburbs (Mujeres Latinas en Accion, Arab American Family Services, Southwest Suburban Immigrant Project, Mano a Mano Family Resource Center, Legal Council for Health Justice, and Shriver Center on Poverty Law) are launching the Immigrant Health Academy. The Academy will focus on empowering immigrants by helping them understand their healthcare rights regardless of immigration status and how to navigate the complex healthcare system. The Academy will train immigrant leaders with a newly developed curriculum and evaluation process to measure clear metrics of organizing, leadership development, and empowerment.
This report sheds light on why many immigrant families are forgoing vital assistance from federal nutrition and food programs and lifts up recommendations aimed at ensuring that all families and individuals, regardless of immigration status, are nourished and healthy.While the findings of this report are informed by a series of focus groups conducted from November 2019 to January 2020 (prior to the onset of COVID-19), the need to connect immigrant families to nutrition programs is arguably of even greater importance given how COVID-19 is fueling unprecedented food insecurity and ravaging communities of color and immigrant communities at disproportionately high rates due to unique barriers faced by families that include noncitizens.
This report focuses how immigrants have helped offset native-born population loss and revitalized an aging workforce by examining 46 Midwestern metro areas as a refresh of a similar study published by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs in 2014. Metro areas are a useful barometer by which to measure the impact of immigration because the economies of central cities and their suburbs are tightly connected and because large immigrant communities are found in both central cities and suburbs of metro areas. Also, the extent to which immigration matters to metro-area economies heightens the importance of immigration as an issue and raises the stakes for immigration reform.
This report examines the ways in which local educational institutions, legal service providers, and immigrant youth advocates have responded to the first phase of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Based on extensive interviews with stakeholders in seven states -- California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, New York, and Texas -- the report identifies initiatives undertaken by educational institutions and other community stakeholders to support DACA youth's education and training success, and examine the impact of deferred action on grantees' academic and career pursuits. It provides examples of promising practices, additional challenges, and key takeaways at the high school, postsecondary, and adult education levels, as well as an exploration of the nature and scope of DACA legal outreach initiatives.
In 2006, The Chicago Community Trust conducted an environmental scan to identify trends to inform its grantmaking in metropolitan Chicago. The Trust has long been responsive to the sizable immigrant population (18 percent) within the city limits, but the scan documenting booming immigrant populations in a number of suburban communities caught its attention.This GCIR case study highlights The Chicago Community Trust's three-year, $1.5 million immigrant integration initiative that was launched in response to the new demographic findings. A central strategy of the initiative was supporting local government leadership and public-private partnerships, including direct grants to three villages: Mount Prospect, Schaumburg, and Skokie (a fourth, Addison, would later be added).