llinois LAtino Council on Higher Education

2021 Annual Conference

April 16, 2021

Malcolm X College, Chicago 

2020 Conference update below

April 24, 2020

Dear ILACHE Members and Friends,

We hope this message finds you in good health.

As you already know, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, our annual conference, which was scheduled for April 24, 2020, was cancelled. Although we will not meet this year, ILACHE will award student scholarships as it has in the past. Also, this spring and summer we will offer several virtual professional development sessions. Please check the ILACHE site for scholarship descriptions and deadlines. Information regarding online workshops will be forthcoming.

As you are probably aware, your membership is generally renewed at the annual ILACHE conference. Since we are not meeting this year, you can renew your membership via our website. Membership dues allow us to continue to offer professional opportunities for staff and faculty and provide scholarships to recognize the achievements of students.

In an effort to assist students undergoing especially difficult financial stress due to the pandemic, the ILACHE board has created a special COVID-19 Award. We encourage you and the higher education institutions of Illinois to support this special financial assistance opportunity by renewing your membership and/or by contributing directly to the COVID-19 Award.

Stay connected with ILACHE throughout the year via social media. We invite you to remain connected to the Latin@ higher educational community and learn about our 2021 conference scheduled for April 16, 2021 at Malcolm X College in Chicago.

Thank you again for your interest in Latin@ educational policy issues and your continued membership in ILACHE.

En solidaridad,

ILACHE Board of Directors

Racist Attacks Demand Action Not Useless Condolences & Empty Promises

The latest mass shootings clearly highlight Mexicans, Latinx immigrants and other people of color as targets of white nationalist rage. This should come as no surprise given the racism and hatred perpetuated by demagogue Trump who has called Mexicans and Latinx immigrants rapists and criminals and who has smirked at his supporters’ calls for extremist responses, giving them a metaphorical wink and a nod, approving and even encouraging violence. Trump’s recent “send them back to where they come from” publicity campaign was aimed against congressional women of color and used as yet another opportunity to ignite racial antagonism and rally his rightwing supporters, in this case against primarily Black women and immigrants.

The racist rage stirred by Trump and much of the Republican Party is an attempt to galvanize his base and use fear and anger to pursue reelection, which they expect will distract their supporters and allow the bought-and-paid-for- legislators and public officials to continue policies that favor the financial and corporate classes.Trump recently took time away from his golf outings to attempt to be “Presidential.” His uninspired utterances of the requisite sympathetic words should be seen in light of Trump’s racist family separation policies, his sadistic violation of the human rights of children, and his role in validating and provoking racism and violence. 

In light of the recent tragedies, we mourn with the families and communities of El Paso, Dayton, and Gilroy. The Illinois Latino Council on Higher Education calls for its membership to express its empathy and solidarity for all the victims of terroristic violence by prompting public officials to take action, encouraging electoral mobilization, and urging the formation of strong and organized communities that can change the nature of the racist Trump discourse to a discussion that promotes social justice in a pluralistic society that truly respects all of its members.  

In Solidarity,

ILACHE Board Members

The mission of Illinois LAtino Council on Higher Education (ILACHE) is to work collaboratively with colleges, universities, and other stakeholders to increase the access, retention, and advancement of Latin@ students, faculty, and staff in Illinois higher education institutions.

Statement on Separation of Families

ILACHE joins with many other educational and social organizations across the country that have denounced the inhumane treatment of immigrant families and youth.  The precipitous deterioration of democratic culture, processes, and institutions is alarming. This disconcerting conservative wave is characterized by heightened imperial ambitions abroad, the diplomacy of arrogance in foreign affairs, and the demonization of immigrant workers and refugee seekers, many of whom are the victims of past and current policies of economic and political destabilization.

Nowhere is the outcome of rightwing populism more evident than in the demagogic projection of all immigrants, particularly Latino/as as thieves, rapists and drug dealers. The dehumanization of people is the necessary first step to enact policies and procedures that violate basic human rights and dignity that should be respected by any civil society. The separation of children from parents, their incarceration in cages, the abuse of power, including the violation of women and children, is not the practice of democratic and civilized societies. 

The torture of children, which is what the separation from mothers and their families constitute, is being done without regard for the long-term consequences of these actions. These are mainly children of color and their wellbeing and their futures hold no worth for those who promulgate policy on the basis of prejudice and fear.  ILACHE was founded on aspirations of hope and opportunity for all.  It urges all people of conscience to reject the appeal to racism and support campaigns to put an end to inhumane and undemocratic policies of hate.   

We urge you to act today to protect Illinois immigrant communities by calling Governor Rauner at 217-782-0244 and ask that he sign SB 34 (VOICES Act), SB 35 (Safe Zones Act), and SB 3488 (No Registry Act). The VOICES Act will help immigrant survivors of domestic violence and trafficking; the Safe Zones Act will protect immigrant families while they’re learning at school or getting care at a hospital, and the No Registry Act will prohibit Illinois from participating in any federal registry program that singles out any group based on religion or national origin.

On behalf of the ILACHE Board

ILACHE Statement on the Repeal of DACA

Today, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that DACA has six months while Congress works on immigration legislation and some form of the Dream Act.

With a stroke of a pen, he put at risk the dreams and aspirations of thousands of young people who were brought to this country as children and who are seeking a college education and other opportunities to improve their current situation as well as that of their families and communities. These students want basic human fundamental rights and access to higher education, which should be afforded to all regardless of immigration status. Undocumented students now find themselves victims of a political game and respectability politics leaves so many people out of proposed policy solutions.

Let us be clear. The removal of DACA harms these students and puts their families at risk for deportation and detention. It is not what this country says it stands for. We are a nation of immigrants. The country was built by immigrants and continues to be made strong by their contributions. This despicable act is not only bad for DACA students and their families; it is bad for the country. Economists predict that Trump’s action will cost the United States approximately $200 billion in the next decade, which is over 1% of the 2016 GDP. The decrease in tax revenue would result in a $60 billion loss to the yearly national budget (Cato Institute). The action taken today by Trump to end DACA hurts us all.

What we need in this country is bipartisan support for comprehensive immigration reform. We need leaders with experience, vision and courage to work on a fair and just immigration system. Senators Durbin and Graham have proposed the 2017 DREAM Act, a bipartisan bill as a temporary solution. Legislators need to work with this administration to pass this legislation. Grandstanding and carrying out political vendettas will not serve our country in the short or long term. ILACHE will continue to support and work with legislators who defend the rights of undocumented students and their families.

ILACHE will be organizing a resistance campaign to urge our legislators and Trump to do the right thing. We will keep our members informed of our actions and solicit your help. We will continue to send out updates and post information on our website on what you can do to assist in this battle for justice.

In these troubling times we, the Latinx community, must stand together and mobilize efforts to resist the decisions of this administration that harm our community. We must be relentless in this effort. We also must work in coalition with others on decisions that affect the well-being of our country. There will be many battlefronts where our participation will be needed. In this charge, we must not falter or lose hope. ILACHE calls on Washington and Trump to restore DACA and begin the work of immigration reform to guarantee protection for the immigrant community.

In Solidarity,
ILACHE Board Members

Affirming our Agenda
ILACHE’s Commitment & Invitation

Latinos were among those stunned to learn the results of the past election. An unqualified, clownish, and sexist reality TV host will ascend to the White House. Trump manipulated longstanding resentments and economic insecurities, blaming immigrants, Blacks, the LGBT community, and those in Latin America for the dislocation of US workers and deteriorating economic and social conditions. Racism and right-wing nationalism, central to Trump’s campaign, will become official ideology evidenced by the appointment of Breitbart’s Steve Bannon as Trump’s chief strategist.

Not surprisingly, Trumps’ empty promise to address the economic insecurities of the middle classes and “Make America Great Again,” is quickly spiraling into a billionaire boondoggle with the installation of the financial elite or their representatives to major posts: the fumbling Rick Perry to a department he threatened to eliminate and whose name escaped him during presidential debates (Energy Department); Andrew Puzder, an anti-union CEO to the Department of Labor, and Betsy DeVos, an enemy of public education, to the Department of Education. The most extreme sector of the Republican rightwing will become key figures in the new administration.

The tendency of the mainstream media will be to attempt to normalize Trump’s regime, prioritizing access and industry profits rather than act as a check on power and hold Trump accountable to some semblance of truth. The Korean American journalist Jay Caspian Kang predicts major mainstream outlets will soon begin reducing their “identity politics writers” for those who can represent Trump well to the general public (Kang Blog). In addition, Washington loyalists and a growing segment of the political establishment will uphold the validity of a tattered democratic system. Their defense of the status quo is meant to inspire acquiescence and political conformity exactly when what is necessary is active resistance.

Soon more public dollars will begin shifting toward private concerns, supporting corporate and banking interests at the expense of the general good. Tax cuts for the wealthy will increase pressures to cut healthcare, privatize Medicare, and reduce Social Security benefits. Increased military spending will swell the national debt and lead to reductions in social spending including unemployment and food stamps while limiting attempts to stimulate job creation. Continuing federal reductions in aid to the states will result in less support for education and local calls to reduce minority initiatives.

Latinos have much at stake and more to lose. The future of DACA is unclear. However, a Trump administration will undoubtedly act as a deterrent to access for undocumented students. Increased deportations will result in more divided families. Financial assistance to college students will diminish while profit-oriented approaches to education will weaken commitment to neighborhood schools and limit postsecondary access to those with fewer resources. More students will be caught in the vice of spiraling educational costs and the long-term negative effects of college debt.

What is necessary is not conformity but leadership, organization, and popular mobilization. ILACHE is our voice in higher education. It is through our collective actions that we must continue to promote our agenda of access, equality of opportunity, and community advancement. ILACHE seeks to collaborate with others who reject Trump’s message of xenophobia and hate. The election signals the need to expand our alliances and build broad coalitions that can advance a democratic and inclusive vision of social justice.

We ask that you become an active member of our educational community. This is not a time to retreat but to double our efforts in support of students, families, and communities.


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