Chicago is an official welcoming city. The 40th Ward Office is a safe haven for undocumented neighbors who live in the ward. We will work together to make sure that all of our choices as a city honor our immigrant neighbors as neighbors. All people deserve to live in safety and security.
Volunteers and donations needed to help newly arrived migrants.
Human Rights and Immigration
Know your rights if you encounter ICE
Everyone in the United States, including undocumented immigrants, has rights under the U.S. Constitution. If you encounter an immigration or law enforcement officer, you can inform them of your rights:
- To remain silent and not answer questions.
- To contact an attorney immediately, if you are detained.
- To refuse to sign anything without advice from an attorney
Related resource links
- Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, https://www.icirr.org/
- Immigrant Community Resources, https://www.icirr.org/immigrant-community-resources
Legal Representation & Support
24-Hour Emergency Support
Call the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) Family Support Hotline at 1-855-HELP-MY-FAMILY (1-855-435-7693).
Free and low-cost legal services
- National Immigrant Justice Center (NJIC) – Chicago residents are eligible for free legal services. Immigrants living in the Chicago, Illinois and Goshen, Indiana, region can obtain low-cost legal consultations and representation. Call 312-660-1370 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The phone line is open to appointment requests Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
- NIJC will only respond to emails requesting an appointment for a legal consultation.
- The Resurrection Project offers high-quality immigration legal services aimed at keeping Illinois immigrant families together. Phone: 312-763-3229
- The Greater Chicago Legal Clinic (GCLC) immigration team specializes in family-based immigration assistance, including filing petitions for relatives, adjustments, consular processing, waivers, renewals of permanent resident cards, removal of conditions on marriage-based permanent resident cards, fiancé(e) visas, naturalizations, deportation defense, claims under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), and U visas.
- U.S. Department of Justice list of free legal service providers: https://www.justice.gov/eoir/list-pro-bono-legal-service-providers
- Immigration Legal and Social Service Providers – this list is maintained by the National Immigrant Justice Center
U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (UCSIS)
The UCSIS hotline is a toll-free automated service that answers general questions 24 hours a day. Dial 800-375-5283 (TTY 800-767-1833) and ask your question in English or Spanish. The system will answer your question and can send you links to forms and information by email or text. Outside the U.S? Call 212-620-3418
Check case status
Check the case status of an immigration application, petition, or other request if you know your receipt number. The receipt number consists of three letters-for example, EAC, WAC, LIN, SRC, NBC, MSC or IOE-and 10 numbers. You can find it on notices of action U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) has sent you.
Education for Undocumented Students
Many Chicago area schools offer contacts and resources for undocumented students. The Illinois Association for College Admission Counseling provides school specific information.
Additional scholarships, funding and resources for undocumented students seeking higher education are available through the City of Chicago, Office of New Americans.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
DACA and immigrant youth are impacted by ongoing federal litigation. Currently, only those that applied and obtained DACA at the onset of this program can continue to renew. If someone has not filed previously, even if they were eligible, they cannot file now. If their DACA is expired, they may still be able to file for a renewal.
Information and resources
Access City Services
Call 3-1-1 or (312) 744-5000
The City’s 311 operators have been given special instruction to help youth and families connect with supportive services throughout the city. Chicago residents are encouraged to call 311 for services related to human rights; immigration services and health services; services specifically for families, children and youth; and legal services. These resources will be provided in both English and Spanish, as well as other languages as needed.
Chicago CityKey Program
The CityKey card is a photo identification card available to all Chicago residents which will not convey information about national origin or legal status. For many residents who do not have an identification card, CityKey can serve as an official government issued identification and can be used to access city services. Learn more and apply for this free city resource online at the Chicago City Clerk’s website, https://www.chicityclerk.com/about-citykey.
COVID-19 vaccines and boosters are free to everyone. You don’t need to have health insurance. To receive the vaccine, you will be asked to provide your name, address and contact information – but not your immigration status. Undocumented immigrants and refugees may be eligible for some services and assistance.
- The Illinois Department of Human Services provides links to welcoming centers across the state to assist you with accessing services and support.
- Healthcare access information (via Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights)
- COVID-19 Resources for Immigrants (PDF download)
Cultural Centers, Additional Non-Profit Resources
- Rohingya Cultural Center – Community-based social service organization aimed at serving the needs of the Rohingya refugee population in Chicago
- Centro Romero – Community-based organization that serves the refugee immigrant population on the northeast side of Chicago
- The Ethiopian Community Association of Chicago – Serving Immigrants & Refugees Since 1984
- RefugeeOne – RefugeeOne creates opportunity for refugees fleeing war, terror, and persecution to build new lives of safety, dignity, and self-reliance.
News & Updates: Immigration
Contact the 40th Ward Office
Our office works to ensure you feel supported, connected, and valued. Please reach out with any questions or concerns you may have—we are here to help!