Access Living urges solidarity with and defense of Sanctuary Movement

In response to the President's Executive Order of January 25 for the construction of a border wall, to find and deport undocumented immigrants, pull federal funding from sanctuary cities and bar certain refugees from the United States: we at Access Living want to assert that our doors are open to the people of the world, both with disabilities and without.

At Access Living, staff and advocates run Cambiando Vidas, an organizing group dedicated to issues that impact Latinos with disabilities. Immigrant rights has long been a focus of their work. On the same day that President Trump issued the Executive Order, Cambiando Vidas joined many other groups for a news conference at City Hall in support of a Unity Platform and a set of Unity resolutions to defend and advance the rights of Black and Brown communities, Muslims, LGBTQ, Jewish, immigrant and refugee, and disabled communities. The resolution passed unanimously through the Cook County Board on Wednesday, January 18, and on January 25 the Unity Platform passed the Chicago City Council with overwhelming support.

For immigrants and refugees with disabilities, the processes of detainment and deportation carries negative consequences as a result of systemic failure to address disability. Furthermore, the process of deporting persons with disabilities in US hospitals and nursing homes, a process known as medical deportation, has only resulted in those persons being sent back to situations where supports are inadequate. Some have died.

Access Living expresses our solidarity with undocumented immigrants and refugees of all nations who have come to the United States. We champion the enforcement of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and we championed the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. For Access Living, the spirit of access, inclusion and support are not ideas but real practices and policies that every person deserves regardless of citizenship status. The sanctuary status of Chicago and Cook County has made that possible for all. Withdrawal of federal funding to our city and county will devastate a host of services that millions rely upon, including people with disabilities. That withdrawal of federal funds will result in a massive violation of human rights.

Again, we urge the City of Chicago and Cook County to stand strong with the sanctuary movement, and urge the federal government to consider the vast crisis that will result upon the withdrawal of federal funding from our region, and other areas of sanctuary.

For more information, contact Gary Arnold at 312-640-2199 (voice), (email).
Gary Arnold
Public Affairs Manager