P.A.S.O.’s formation came from years of local work by St. Charles Borromeo and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parishes for immigrant rights, which continues to be an integral part of P.A.S.O.’s mission.
P.A.S.O. was founded on the core community organizing belief that ordinary people –people directly affected- have the power to make extraordinary changes by acting collectively with others and putting into action their values and faith. Our mission is to work for strong, vibrant communities where all community members can live dignified lives regardless of their race, socioeconomic or immigration status.
Since its founding in 2009, P.A.S.O. members have been at the forefront of the struggle for immigrant rights and immigrant justice ensuring that the humanity and dignity of immigrants is upheld and respected, contributions include:
- P.A.S.O. and Nuestra Voz Youth Council were two of the lead organizations that worked to pass the IL DREAM Act in 2011 to ensure that undocumented students can continue their college education by creating a private scholarship fund and providing counselors the necessary training to guide undocumented students through the process.
- Last year P.A.S.O. worked with ICIRR to block the expansion in Illinois of the federal program “Secure Communities” which has been responsible for thousands of deportations. IL was the first state in the nation to take this step preventing this destructive program from expanding.
- P.A.S.O. leaders worked to ensure the passage of the Cook County ICE Detainer Ordinance
- P.A.S.O. members have been directly involved in the struggle for immigration reform and the federal D.R.E.A.M. Act as well as bringing light to the impact and destruction deportations have on our families and communities. In 2010, P.A.S.O. leaders organized 4 buses to travel to DC in support of comprehensive immigration reform and later that year, P.A.S.O. and Nuestra Voz Youth Council worked to fight for the D.R.E.A.M. Act.
- P.A.S.O. leaders created and launched a Know Your Rights campaign to educate and inform community members about their rights and developments around immigration. Presentations have been organized by leaders through churches, schools and households using a popular education model.
If you would like to get involved with P.A.S.O.’s Immigrant Justice and community organizing work, contact Estela Vara at 708-410-2000.