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National Center on Poverty Law
JANUARY 3, 2005
11:39 AM

CONTACT: National Center on Poverty Law 
Dan Lesser, 312-263-3830 ext. 227
Laura Fletcher, 312-263-3830 ext. 236

Nonprofit Groups to Celebrate Illinois State Law Assisting Elderly and Disabled Refugees

WASHINGTON -- January 3 -- News Advisory:

WHAT: On Friday, Jan. 7, there will be a presentation ceremony and lunch to celebrate the passage of Public Act 93-741. This legislation averted a crisis faced by elderly and disabled Illinois residents who had fled persecution in their native lands and some of the most brutal regimes in the world. Elderly and disabled refugees and asylees can now obtain monthly grants through Illinois' Aid to the Aged, Blind and Disabled (AABD) program if their federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) grants are suspended. SSI expires for these immigrants after seven years if they do not become U.S. citizens, but bureaucratic red tape often is the only obstacle to their citizenship applications.

The event will honor state officials who helped enact the legislation, principally Sen. Carol Ronen, Rep. Harry Osterman, and Louanner Peters, deputy chief of staff to Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Three immigrants assisted by the legislation will share their stories.

The event is hosted by the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, Heartland Alliance for Human Needs and Human Rights, and Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights. The co-sponsors of the event include 30 nonprofit organizations that work with refugees and asylees.

WHERE: Raz Dashen, an Ethiopian restaurant located at 5846 North Broadway in Chicago

WHEN: Friday, Jan. 7, 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.


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