Welcome to the homepage of the Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America (CRLN).  The Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America (CRLN) stands in solidarity with those oppressed by poverty, violence and exclusion in this hemisphere working together for the respect of human dignity and empowerment of all peoples.  An interfaith network of individuals and communities, CRLN equips and mobilizes religious leaders, communities and individuals to advance peace, justice and human rights in our hemisphere.

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2015 Coming Out of the Shadows; "Faltan 7 Millones y Falto Yo."

Last Saturday, Federal Plaza was site to the 6 th Annual Coming Out of the Shadows event. While many Chicagoans were busy celebrating St. Patty’s Day, CRLN staff and members chose instead to be in the presence of members of the undocumented community who had made the decision to publicly share their stories of struggle.

At this year’s Coming Out of the Shadows we were able to hear from local undocumented members of the community who shed light on the fac that in Cook County alone, 52% of the undocumented immigrant population will remain excluded from any form of relief. WIth an injunction temporarirly halting DACA& DAPA and deportations remaining unabated, they remiinded us of the urge to remain vigilant, united, and continuously prepared to act.

Venezuela suspicious of U.S. intentions

CRLN is increasingly concerned about the one-sided U.S. media coverage of the social protests and government response to them in Venezuela for the past year. The U.S. mainstream media has portrayed the protesters as human rights victims and the government of Nicolas Maduro as repressive human rights violators. However, the media has not explored evidence for the Maduro administration’s claim that it was the victim of an attempted coup , funded and encouraged by the U.S., instead, endlessly ridiculing that claim. Ridicule does not equal evidence.

Now that the Obama administration has called Venezuela a “national security threat” and has slapped sanctions on Venezuela, even as it has recognized the failure of sanctions to produce change in Cuba and has called for the lifting of sanctions against that nation, it is past time to consider the evidence that the U.S. indeed supports a coup in Honduras. Click here to read an informative article written by the staff of the Council on Hemispheric Affairs including a brief history of recent coups in the hemisphere and background of Venezuela's suspicions of U.S. intentions.

Take Action Against State Budget Cuts for the Most Vulnerable

On February 18, 2015, Governor Rauner presented his FY 2016 budget proposal to the Illinois General Assembly. He announced devastating cuts to programs serving the most vulnerable: the Immigrant Services Line Item, Department of Children and Family Services, substance abuse services, community mental health, hospitals serving Medicaid populations, homeless youth services, and child care services.

We cannot balance our budget on the backs of the poor and vulnerable. Not only is it morally wrong, it is shortsighted. Cuts to needed services often lead to more costly outcomes such as increased emergency room visits, crime rates, and mental illness.

Please make a call to Gov. Rauner at 217-782-0244 (Springfield) and 312-814-2121 (Chicago) to take action to protect immigrant services. Ask a friend to call too! Sample Script:

“My name is ______. I am a member/work/volunteer with the Chicago Religious Leadership Network, and believe that immigrant services are an essential investment. I urge Gov. Rauner to maintain funding for the Immigrant Integration Service Line Item and other crucial services for the poor. Caring for the most vulnerable is the right thing to do, and it pays off over the long term through more stable communities."

CRLN Members Monitor 2015 Elections in El Salvador

CRLN members Frank Schneider and Ann Legg, along with CRLN members Margo Worfolk's and Joe Houston's neighbors Jay Mitchell and Julie Federico, participated as International Election Observers in the 11 th International Election Observation Mission of the Center for Interchange and Solidarity (CIS) in El Salvador in different voting centers in municipalities throughout the country on Election Day, Sunday March 1, 2015. This election was to select Deputies for the Legislative Assembly, Representatives for the Central American Parliament (PARLACEN) and Mayors and members of the Municipal Councils.

We congratulate the Salvadoran people for their overwhelming participation and their commitment to strengthening the democratic process in El Salvador. We congratulate the TSE (Supreme Electoral Tribunal) for having successfully assumed many challenges and responsibilities in such a short period of time after their installation and with little time to implement the recent electoral reforms. We congratulate the JRVs (what we call Election Judges) for carrying out such a heavy but important workload. Many worked for 24 hours or more without sleep. Their commitment and dedication facilitated the process and contributed to its transparency, something so fundamental in a democratic process.

New legislation introduced to ease restrictions on travel and trade with Cuba

The introduction of new legislation to ease U.S. restrictions on travel and trade with Cuba is one of the many positive developments since the December 17, 2014 announcement of policy changes by both countries. Companion bills in the House (HR 664) and Senate (S 299) will finally end the travel ban. This legislation is important because the recently enacted changes in the travel regulations have been made by executive order and are subject to change with a new president. The Senate bill (S 491) will remove some of the many restrictions that make up the trade embargo, a U.S. policy that continues to cause suffering in Cuba.

On Spiritual Strength and Immigrant Justice: Such a Time as This La Fortaleza Espiritual y Justicia para el Inmigrante: Una Ocasión Como Esta

Christians have entered the sacred season of Lent, a time to remember our humility before God. Soon Jewish communities will be celebrating Purim, the remembrance of Queen Esther, who chose the path of solidarity and saved her people from annihilation at the hands of those who saw them as outsiders. Baha’is are preparing to enter the Nineteen Day Fast, a time of special devotion and spiritual renewal.

Let us drink deeply at the wells offered to us by our spiritual traditions. We will need them for the long journey ahead. Last week Judge Andrew Hanen ordered a temporary injunction against Obama’s Executive Action, which offers protection from deportation to certain undocumented parents and youth. His ruling is unlikely to stand, but it may take a while to resolve.

Days of Prayer & Action: 2015 Save the Date!

Save the Date!

Join us for: Days of Prayer & Action for Colombia (DOPA) "Tomorrow’s Peace Starts Today: La paz de mañana empieza hoy "

SUNDAY, MAY 17, 2015 : Plan a sermon, Sunday school class or community event to support the peace process in Colombia

MONDAY, MAY 18, 2015 : Take Action to Support of the peace process in colombia. More materials coming soon!

E-mail Celeste at clarkin@crln.org if you plan to participate or with questions.

Crunch Time: Make your call for #NoFastTrack

CRLN & Fair Trade Advocates everywhere are in crunch time. John Boehner & Congress’s business conservatives are trying to pass Fast Track for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in the House before the 2016 election season starts up.

Please click here to call your member of Congress to ask that they strongly oppose Fast Tracking the TPP and other corporate trade deals. This moment really counts!

The Obama administration & corporate elites have been pushing Fast Track hard & many members of Congress who’ve been on our side are now wavering . That’s why we’ve been doing targeted actions on different Members of Congress ( check it out! ).

El Pueblo Canta Concert 2015: Tickets On Sale Now!

Support CRLN and other organizations in their immigrant rights work all while enjoying great food, fantastic music, and the best people in Chicago! Don't miss the 7th Annual El Pueblo Canta Concert! Free parking passes available if you act quickly. Pass the word to your friends, family, co-workers, and even your enemies. This is how we change the world and love every minute of it.

What: 7th Annual El Pueblo Canta When: 7 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday, April 25, 2015. Traditional Latin American foods will be for sale at the concert beginning at 6 p.m. ...

Singing Valentine: To Mike Quigley, From Disgruntled Constituents... PS #NoFastTrack

Today, Monday, February 23rd, CRLN joined twenty members of the Illinois Fair Trade Coalition (IFTC) and constituents of Illinois’ 5 th Congressional district to stage a singing Valentine’s delivery for Rep. Mike Quigley who has failed to come out against Fast Track legislation for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The group delivered a Valentine’s package filled with over 1,500 messages and signatures from 5 th district voters urging that the Congressman come out and ensure he will vote no on Fast Track legislation, which some proponents want to vote on before the 2016 election cycle begins. The group sang a love song whose lyrics were altered to urge that Rep. Quigley change his current, on-the-fence stance on Fast Track legislation to a clear no.


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