Rally to End Ice Expansion

ONE LESS: Who Will Fill These Shoes?

Rally to End ICE Expansion

One Less: Who Will Fill These Shoes?
When: Saturday, September 1st, 1 PM
Where: Kankakee County Courthouse
450 E. Court St. Kankakee, IL

What is this about? Kankakee County’s Jerome Combs Detention Center houses on average 150 ICE detainees per day. Now the Sheriff wants to expand 32,000 additional square feet AND improve the Kankakee airport to expedite deportations, making Kankakee one of the largest ICE detention centers in the state.

LEARN WHAT’S GOING ON … This rally will inform the community and hold county officials accountable. Immigrants without proper documentation, ICE detainees, who have otherwise demonstrated respect for the law and contributed to their community should not be held in prison indefinitely, and Kankakee County should not build financial solvency on the backs of those suffering from today’s aggressive ICE tactics.

Visit our Facebook Event page here.


Renting Our Jail: Who is ICE detaining in Kankakee County?

12 Noon to 2 PM – Saturday 28 April 2018

Feed Arts & Cultural Center
259 S Schuyler Avenue, Downtown Kankakee


Have you ever wondered what goes on at the Jerome Combs Detention Center? It’s not simply a place to keep those arrested in Kankakee County behind bars. This facility offers beds to other governmental organizations for a price. Among those organizations is ICE, the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement arm.

According to the Detention Watch Network (DWN) website, ICE’s track record of abuse is long-standing, well documented and overwhelming. Under an explicitly anti-immigrant and racist federal administration, ICE has been emboldened to be less transparent, less unaccountable and to act with increased impunity. This is an agency that actively hides and falsifies information and retaliates against those who speak out.

On April 28th, Connect Kankakee and DWN will hold ICE accountable for its culture of secrecy and systemic abuse, by presenting the true stories of people who are being detained by the agency at the Jerome Combs center. We’ll also be discussing the economic and moral issues surrounding Kankakee County’s participation in ICE activities by providing detention service to the agency.

Come join us for this informative and interactive session on April 28th.

Connect Responds

Liberty Ashamed

Alan Webber’s March 20th rant against all things immigration is riddled with inaccuracies. Connect addresses just one that illustrates a common tactic by those who seem consumed by hate. Our reply, which was submitted to Voice of the People, is copied below. Alan Webber’s commentary can be read here: http://www.daily-journal.com/opinion/columnists/local/alan-webber-undocumented-democrats/article_c54b8dca-2b72-11e8-a5c1-8bd57a09aac7.html

Connect responds to Daily Journal Newspaper Commentary

When the Daily Journal publishes commentary by its regular contributors on the opinion page, readers should be able to expect a certain level of factual accuracy. Quotes used from extremist groups often fall far short of this ideal.

Take for example the Federation of American Immigration Reform (FAIR). Alan Webber sourced information from this group in his commentary on Tuesday March 20. Despite the clever acronym, in 2007, the Souther Poverty Law Center branded FAIR a hate group, stating that:

“The founder, chief ideologue and long-time funder of FAIR, John Tanton, is a racist. Key staff members have ties to white supremacist groups, some are members, and some have spoken at hate group functions. FAIR has accepted more than $1 million from a racist foundation devoted to studies of race and IQ, and to eugenics — the pseudo-science of breeding a better human race that was utterly discredited by the Nazi euthanasia program. It spreads racist conspiracy theories.”

Alan Webber’s anti-immigration tirade used numbers concocted by FAIR to support claims of the high cost to taxpayers of undocumented immigrants. An overview by econofact.org of the actual study completed by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine on this complex subject titled “The Economic and Fiscal Consequences of Immigration” offers a far different perspective:

“Estimates of the fiscal impacts of immigrants are complex and depend on the time horizon chosen for the analysis. Over the long horizon such estimates, under the most likely scenarios, generally find that immigrants are not a significant fiscal drain. The evidence does not suggest that current immigrant flows cost native-born taxpayers money over the long-run nor does it provide support for the notion that lowering immigration quotas or stepping up enforcement of existing immigration laws would generate savings to existing taxpayers. We do see, however, that there is a disconnect in the level of government that bears the greatest costs of immigration (state and local governments) versus the level which reaps the greatest tax rewards (federal). Overall, immigrants contribute substantially to paying for public expenditures, including sharing in the burden of paying back public debt.”

A 2007 report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office examined 29 reports on state and local costs published over 15 years in an attempt to answer this question. CBO concluded that most of the estimates determined that illegal immigrants impose a net cost to state and local governments but “that impact is most likely modest.” CBO said “no agreement exists as to the size of, or even the best way of measuring, that cost on a national level.”

And finally, the conservative National Review published an article discussing a study by the National Academy of Sciences titled “ The Economic and Fiscal Consequences of Immigration”. In “What Does the National Academies’ Immigration Report Really Say?” it concludes “If we then take the report’s estimates of the surplus and the fiscal burden at face value, it is self-evident that the impact of immigration on the aggregate wealth of natives is, at best, a wash.”

Opinions based on information sourced from recognized hate groups have no place in a mainstream newspaper. Rhetoric based on sources led by racist extremists confuses the issue and does not serve the readers best interest. As the immigration debate continues, it’s important for residents to seek out trustworthy sources of information and balance prejudiced perspectives with one’s own review of the facts.

March 2018 Meeting

Join us this Thursday night!

Thursday evening 7:30 to 9:00 Connect members will gather for their monthly ‘First Thursday’ meeting at Feed in downtown Kankakee: 259 S Schuyler Ave, Kankakee, Illinois 60901.

Scene from Women's March Kankakee

As the above image of the Woman’s March in Kankakee illustrates- an initiative organized by Connect members- we are establishing a collective voice that resonates with those in the community that share our vision. What are your ideas and concerns?

This month’s agenda items include:
-Welcome new faces
-Women’s March feedback/plan for future: re-brand?
-Brief of county board meeting visit and meeting with sheriff
-Newsletter Committee formation: update?
-Billboard Project: introduction and feedback
-Input from community members
-Suggestions for next month’s Agenda

Connect members welcome input from all residents of the greater Kankakee area who seek ways to take action locally to benefit community members of all backgrounds. Stop by and bring a friend!

Harvest of Empire

Skyline with Statue of Liberty

Tuesday, September 26 at 7:30 PM

At a time of heated and divisive debate over immigration, Harvest of Empire reveals the direct connection between the long history of U.S. intervention in Latin America and the immigration crisis we face today.

Come join us at Feed Arts & Cultural Center, 259 S. Schuyler in Downtown Kankakee for a screening of this informative film. A discussion led by Patricia Santoro-Marin follows the screening.

This event is free and open to the public.

Becoming Immigrant Allies

On Thursday, August 3rd, 2017 we hosted a session on “Becoming Immigrant Allies: Understanding the Complexities of our Broken Immigration System” at Feed Arts & Cultural Center in Downtown Kankakee.

Mireya Luna, Immigrant Advocate with The Southwest Suburban Immigrant Project (SSIP) helped us to explore the history of immigration and our current immigration laws. A packed house learned to move towards becoming an ally for change.

You can always find the list of upcoming events here on our website, or in the events tab of our Facebook page.