Statement on President Trump’s Proposed Executive Order Suspending Immigration

Highland Park, IL – April 21, 2020 – The North Suburban Legal Aid Clinic (the Clinic) stands in support of the immigrant community and has issued the following statement with regard to the recent proposed Presidential executive order related to immigration policy:

“We are disappointed to learn about President Trump’s proposed executive order to halt immigration during the COVID-19 crisis. An estimated* 6 million immigrant workers (a figure that does not take into account legal status) are in jobs on the front lines of coronavirus response, while another 6 million are in industries hardest hit by the pandemic. In normal times, undocumented labor is a pillar of the U.S. economy. These are our essential workers and our neighbors.

It is unclear how the White House will suspend immigration, how long a suspension could last, or how this will impact individuals who already hold green cards and are in the process of becoming U.S. citizens. The North Suburban Legal Aid Clinic will continue to monitor the situation and do whatever we can to assist individuals and families in need of legal assistance during this already difficult time.”

Emergency Order of Modification of Parenting Judgement Related to Stay-at-Home Order in Domestic Violence Case

Highland Park, IL – April 16, 2020 – Rebecca Weininger, Director of Domestic Violence Law Practice at the North Suburban Legal Aid Clinic (the Clinic), successfully obtained an emergency order in a domestic violence action related to Governor J.B. Pritzker’s Stay-at-Home Order (the Order). Weininger argued that one parent’s failure to abide by the Order while exercising parenting time with the couples’ minor child constitutes an emergency that the family court should consider and puts the child at risk, specifically the possible exposure to COVID-19. Disobeying the Order with a minor child violates the Illinois Domestic Violence Act and the parties’ parenting order. The Court agreed, granted the emergency motion, and entered an order requiring both parents to abide by Executive Order No. 8 effective immediately.

Client is the divorced mother of one child. Client believed her son’s life was at risk, as the child’s father was not adhering to the Order. Client came to the Clinic for the first time on April 6, 2020. Judge D. Christopher Lombardo, 19th Judicial Circuit Court at the Lake County Courthouse in Waukegan, IL, heard the case.

“Our client fully entrusted her son’s father to follow the Governor’s Order. When it became clear that her son’s life was in danger, she turned to the Clinic for help,” stated Weininger. “It is critical that each of us does our part to flatten the curve during the COVID-19 pandemic. We appreciate that this ruling will provide the safety and security that our client and her son deserve and makes a statement about the critical importance of the precautions that we have all been asked to take in this fast-evolving health crisis.”

The Clinic is an essential service. Based on public health guidance to limit gatherings due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Clinic is no longer seeing clients or guests at the office but is scheduling individual and family phone appointments for intakes, follow-up meetings, and court appointments.

What is an Order of Protection?

An order of protection is issued by the court to limit the behavior of someone who harms or threatens to harm another person. It is used to address various types of safety issues, including, but not limited to situations involving domestic violence. Family Courts, criminal courts, and Supreme Courts can all issue orders of protection.

An order of protection may direct the offending person not to injure, threaten or harass you, your family, or any other person(s) listed in the order. It may include, but is not limited to, directing him/her to:

  • stay away from you and your children
  • move out of your home
  • follow custody orders
  • pay child support
  • not have a gun

What are the different Orders of Protection?

Emergency Order of Protection
An Emergency Order of Protection (EOP) is a court order that protects its holder - called the petitioner - from harm by a person named in the order - called the respondent, who is not required to know about the hearing. An EOP takes effect as soon as the judge approves it and lasts for only 14 to 21 days. When the EOP is issued, the court sets a hearing for a Plenary Order.

Since the respondent is not given notice of the hearing the types of remedies that may be ordered in an Emergency Order of Protection are limited. The court may not order counseling, changes to custody arrangements for minor children, payment of maintenance or child support, or monetary damages in an Emergency Order of Protection.

Plenary Order of Protection
A Plenary Order is issued by a judge after a hearing with both the petitioner - the person seeking safety- and the respondent - the person accused of abuse. The petitioner must be present in court to get the order and the respondent must be notified about the hearing although is not required to show up. A Plenary Order lasts for up to 2 years.

Interim Order of Protection
Interim orders of protection protect the petitioner during the period between the time that the respondent has received notice of the petition and the time that a final hearing on the merits can be conducted.

Healthcare Proclamation

Beginning November 3, 2019, individuals seeking immigrant visas abroad will be denied if they do not have health insurance or cannot prove that they will be able to pay for health insurance in the United States within 30 days of entry. This proclamation, which was announced on October 3, 2019, will impact both individuals who have lived in the U.S. but must attend their immigrant visa interview abroad (for consular processing) and individuals who have never entered the United States. This new restriction is separate from the public charge rule (see this page for information and updates on the public charge rule).

Certain immigrants are exempt from this new healthcare proclamation, including: anyone issued a visa prior to the effective date (Nov. 3, 2019), Lawful Permanent Residents returning after a long absence, unmarried children and adoptees of U.S. citizens, people seeking Iraq/Afghani Special Immigrant visas, children under age 18, (unless accompanying parents subject to the new healthcare proclamation), people whose entry would advance law enforcement objectives or would be in the national interest, and parents of adult U.S. citizens if they can demonstrate to the satisfaction of the consular officer that their health care will not impose a substantial burden on the U.S. health care system.

Please contact the Clinic with any questions regarding this healthcare proclamation or any questions about applying for an immigrant visa.

Below are the Clinic’s flyers about changes to public charge and what they mean for you (created 10/1/2019).