Gov. Pat Quinn unveiled Phase III of his New Americans project to make state services available more efficiently and effectively to new immigrants to the State of Illinois to the praise of Hispanic leaders, including State Rep. Lisa Hernandez.
Hernandez was one of the keynote speakers at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Melrose Park where Quinn announced the launch of the final phase of the program that makes state services available through one-shop stop locations to immigrants. She praised Quinn’s efforts to support immigrants, citing his backing of the Dream Act and his adoption of legislation making drivers licenses available to undocumented residents that will begin later this year.
“There are countless stories that I know firsthand, but I want to focus on why this model works first because it is about the state in- vesting in its own infrastructure to serve im- migrants,” said Hernandez. “If the state does not invest in this area, we will not be prepared to serve immigrants and its growing numbers throughout the state.”
Hernandez noted GONA “offers over 100 services under the same roof, a one-stop comprehensive service center.”
The Illinois Welcoming Center opened in Melrose Park at 1115 N. 23rd Street in Melrose Park in July 2007. A second cen- ter was opened in the summer of 2010 in North Riverside to also service Cicero, Berwyn, Lyons and surrounding communities.
Three more centers are planned, Quinn said. “We want to be the most welcoming state in the union when it comes to new immigrants coming to our state. Our diversity is our strength,” Quinn said.
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