Immigration Information & Resources

There has been recent press coverage regarding the federal government's plans to carry out deportations of immigrants and their families. All reports indicate that this will start on Sunday, July 14th and continue through the week. These raids were expected to target 10 cities, one of which is Chicago.While Northern Illinois Food Book serves the 13 counties surrounding Cook where Chicago lies, it is possible that ICE may extend their search to surrounding communities with large immigrant populations. It is important to remember our collaborative mission: to feed anyone that struggles with hunger in our communities. 
If ICE approaches your food pantry or program, please remember: 
  • ICE Agents can enter the public areas of your facility (ie: parking lot). In the private facility areas, they must have a valid search warrant signed by a judge, which is different than an ICE administrative warrant, which does not grant permission to enter private areas. 
  • Schools, hospitals and places of worship are currently under a special policy and cannot be searched. This policy is subject to change. 
  • ICE agents can question any person they believe to be an alien to determine if they are legally present in the U.S., but their ethnicity or race are not sufficient to make that determination. Factors that are sufficient include the inability to speak English, nervous or evasive behavior, or information from a reliable informant. 
  • ICE agents can only take data or documents if they have an appropriate warrant or are granted consent.

Additionally, if your food pantry or program is approached by an ICE agent and they have access, be prepared for the following potential questions: 
  • What documentation, if any, do you require for people to receive food assistance?
  • Do you, or will you, share any records of people that receive assistance with the federal government?
  • What percentage of your budget comes from the government?

Have responses drafted just in case, and if you do not have the answer (because you don’t have the data) your response should be simple and direct: “We do not collect that information.” If your policy is to keep this information confidential, consider a general statement, such as “Our food pantries and meal programs are available to feed people who are hungry, regardless of race, religion, or citizenship.”
Full details regarding encounters with ICE were provided by Feeding America, and can be found here.

Below are additional resources compiled by the Coalition on Human Needs, which service providers and others in the human needs community can use to help their immigrant neighbors who are threatened: 
There are still many unknowns regarding the coming days and weeks. If you are contacted, please inform the Food Bank so we are aware of the issue, and can find additional support if possible. We may send out a short survey in the coming days to measure the impact of the current political climate. 

Thank you for all you do to support those facing food insecurity in your community. 
If you have any questions, concerns, or encounter ICE, please do not hesitate to reach out to the Food Bank's Agency Relations Team or the Advocacy Team:

Jacqui Hebein, Director of Agency Relations: 

Scott Jewitt, Agency Relations Area Manager (Lake & McHenry):

Yvette Sellers, Agency Relations Area Specialist (Stephenson, Winnebago, Boone, Ogle, and DeKalb):

Mary Clark, Agency Relations Area Specialist (Kane, DuPage, Kendall):

Archana Liggins, Agency Relations Area Specialist (Will, Grundy, Kanakakee):

Teresa Schryver: Advocacy and Awareness Specialist:

This is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice.  Please contact your own counsel to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem.
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Northern Illinois Food Bank
Teresa Schryver  
Advocacy and Awareness Specialist
Northern Illinois Food Bank
T: 630-443-6910 ext. 160   E:

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