The Illinois Senate approved a measure today that limits local police interaction with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement actions, and rebuilds trust between police and immigrant communities. The TRUST Act prohibits law enforcement agencies from engaging in immigration enforcement unless a warrant issued by a judge is presented, bans detaining a person based on their immigration status and forbids the use of any state or local resources to help create a federal registry based on race, national origin, religion or other protected classes.

State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) released the following statement:

“We should be fostering safe communities where a person’s fear of hostility, or having their families torn apart, does not get in the way of public safety. A person in the shadows often will not come forward to report crimes against themselves or other people because they fear their status may be exposed. When someone’s fear gets in the way of cooperation, our communities become less safe. This legislation gives us the tools to put Illinois on the right track, keep families together and build stronger communities."

Category: News

SPRINGFIELD – Today in the Capitol, Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) passed a resolution to designate this month of March Social Work Month in Illinois.03292017AM9159

“Social workers protect the most vulnerable among our society and deserve to be celebrated for their tireless efforts,” said Castro. “I’m happy that my fellow senators see the importance of everything social workers do to support our communities and join me in making March the month to recognize their hard work.”

With nearly 650,000 social workers in the U.S. and over 20,000 in Illinois, social workers are the largest group of mental health care providers in the U.S., and help people cope with a wide range of challenges in life.

Category: News

Some Elgin-area residents are going without vital mental health services, such as emergency assessments, crisis counseling, psychiatry and other treatments – or waiting longer to receive such help – because of state funding cuts.

mental health imageOver the past two years the governor has eliminated state grants for individuals without insurance and grants for psychiatric services. At the Ecker Center in Elgin, this results in many people who are seeking mental health help being turned away during a time when the need is high.

The center has been forced to let a full time psychiatrist go, and have been unable to replace those hours of service to the public. Additionally, it has been forced to close one of its group homes.

Although it is managing to stay afloat in spite of not being fully funded, the Ecker Center is worried for its future and the future of mental health services for the state.

In an interview with the Elgin Courier News, Karen Beyer, the executive director said there is an increasing number of people who need these services. She explained that she’s not worried about the Ecker Center, but rather the people it can’t serve. “We are very frightened, all of us,” Beyer told the Courier.

Read more ...

Category: News

SPRINGFIELD – Today, Governor Rauner addressed the General Assembly to explain his proposed budget. In response, State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) released the following statement.

“We have heard this budget address before,” said Castro. “For the third year now, the governor has failed to present a balanced budget and as a result, social services and higher education continue to suffer.”

“Gov. Rauner presented some great talking points, but that’s all they are: talk, nothing solid. The Senate, in a bipartisan fashion, has worked to put forth action. Words are meaningless without action. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues in the legislature to negotiate a grand bargain and am hopeful that the governor will support it when it comes to his desk.”

Category: News

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District Office:
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