The immediate cuts to immigrant services include closing 10 welcoming centers around the state.  The governor suspended grants for immigrant services during the legislative break, but State Rep. Lisa Hernandez (D-Cicero) is urging him to reverse this particular cut, saying keeping these centers open would take only $1.5 million.
“$1.5 (million) out of the whole budget is…it’s nothing,” Hernandez said. “It’s a lot for benefit to the state, that it would really not hurt the budget.”
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The centers provide services and referrals for the state’s new immigrants. The 10 facilities are located in Aurora, Bridgeview, Joliet, Melrose Park, Hanover Park, Waukegan and Riverside, along with three centers in Chicago. Hernandez says another facility was being planned for East St. Louis, but the elimination of funding to the centers has forced those plans to be shelved.
Some of the centers may be able to remain due to additional funding from community groups.
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