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Victory for immigrant trauma survivors: Illinois House overrides VOICES Act veto

Victory for immigrant trauma survivors: Illinois House overrides VOICES Act veto

Arab American Family Services (AAFS) is pleased to announce that the Illinois legislature voted to override Governor Rauner’s veto of the VOICES Act which gives immigrant trauma survivors important protections.

AAFS, along with partners from The Campaign for a Welcoming Illinois, including the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR), Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Chicago (AAAJ), United Congress of Community and Religious Organizations (UCCRO), and Mujeres Latinas en Acción, we have worked diligently at the state capitol in Springfield to urge lawmakers to override Governor Rauner’s veto of the VOICES Act.

The VOICES Act is an important bill because it lessens fears from the immigrant community regarding reporting abuse due to immigration status and threat of deportation. The VOICES Act streamlines the U-Visa certification process, in which law enforcement will be given 90 days to sign certifications, ultimately encouraging survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault to come forward and report crimes against their abusers.

“This is a big step towards protecting the rights of abuse survivors no matter what their immigration status is.” said Itedal Shalabi, co-founder of AAFS. “We want to thank our partners who fought alongside us to make this possible, as well as the legislators who voted to override Governor Rauner’s veto of the VOICES Act.”

You can help us support survivors by donating to AAFS today. Your donations make a positive difference in the lives of survivors in our community.

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