Historic Chicago Dream Relief Day
On August 16, the city of Chicago hosted its Dream Relief Day at Navy Pier, which is part of a nationwide program that is aimed to provide conditional legal status to undocumented students and U.S. military personnel. The Chicago Tribune reported that the size of the crowd that showed up was of overwhelming proportions. People looking at real estate in Chicago can expect to see effects on the city's economy, culture and even housing market due to this development in immigration policy.
According to NBC Chicago, President Barack Obama announced the new deferred action policy this summer and it took effect August 16, with workshops planned for each month. The program is open to applicants between the ages of 15 and 31 who have lived in the United States for the last five years and who arrived in the country before they were 16 years of age. It allows them to live and work in the country temporarily while pursuing citizenship.
The Tribune revealed that Chicago's event was estimated by an immigration advocacy agency to have drawn 13,000 people, and that organizers had to start turning people away as they were only able to help roughly 7,500 people and process a maximum of 1,500 applications. According to NBC Chicago, the program is estimated to affect 1.7 million people across the country, with roughly 75,000 of those in Illinois.
Additionally, the news source reported that one of the several politicians in attendance was U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-Illinois), who said to the crowd, "This is what history looks like!"