The Indo-American Center (IAC) began participation in the Community Navigator program at the beginning of 2017. This Chicago city wide program works to train volunteers in the community to help the undocumented, immigrants and refugees. Once trained, the volunteers will share information with their family, friends, and community members about how to access legal help and inform them on their rights under the US Constitution. Presentations such as "Know Your Rights" (KYR) highlights the rights of every citizen, legal permanent resident and undocumented person, and strengthens our community and protects families from removal and deportation.
From April to June we have helped 238 community members know their rights, get legal advice and assistance through the Community Navigator program.
Raja is one of our community members participating in the Community Navigator program at Indo-American Center. He spoke on behalf of IAC at our celebration at CNA Chicago on July 13th. He shared his experience working in the community to stop the spread of misinformation. Raja spoke about his friend's mother who was upset to the point of tears. He asked her, "Why are you crying?" She had heard a rumor that Immigration and Customs Enforcement had picked up 50 men from our busy market area of Devon Avenue. She was worried about her son and the people in her community that they would be taken away from their homes. Through the training that Raja received at the Indo-American Center, he was able to calm her down and reassure her that the rumor was not true. Raja took his friend's mother to IAC and make an appointment with our immigration attorney. After the meeting with the attorney, Raja and his friends learned about immigration options and that IAC is a community center that supports all immigrants.
The Community Navigator program also reaches out to individuals that might be unaware of legal options that will stop them from being deported. Our Navigators are a diverse group who speak 10 different languages and we provide translation for any immigration service or presentation given. We work also to advocate for immigrant rights to let our community know we stand with them during this turbulent political climate.
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