Injustice Watch and Borderless Magazine are working together to investigate the consequences noncitizens face after a criminal conviction.
You can help us with our reporting by sharing your experiences, your concerns, your questions, and the resources you – or someone you know – wished you’d had as an immigrant facing criminal charges in Cook County.
Investigations that expose, influence and inform. Emailed directly to you.
Cook County residents who are not U.S. citizens – including green card holders – risk being deported if they’re convicted of certain crimes. These include certain misdemeanors, like drug possession and shoplifting, and felonies, like sexual assault and arson. Defense attorneys and judges are supposed to inform noncitizens if the charges they’re facing could lead to their deportation. Our goal with this investigation is to find out whether immigrants in criminal court are being informed about the collateral consequences of a conviction and to offer resources and answer questions about how criminal charges might affect your immigration status.
We want you to be part of our reporting process to help us generate the information you need on this issue. Have you or a loved one been deported after being convicted of a crime? Did your lawyer ask about your immigration status before preparing your defense or negotiating a plea? Did the judge warn you that you could face deportation if convicted? Please reach out and tell us about your experience.
We won’t publish any information you share with us without your permission. We’ll report back the information we learn and resources we find as we go.
You can contact us by phone or text message at (331) 704-0868. If you want to contact us more securely, you can call or text us using Signal, an encrypted messaging app, at the same number. Or you can reach reporter Rita Oceguera by email at [email protected]. Our immigration reporters are fluent in Spanish.
This article was produced in partnership with Report for America and The Chicago Reporter.