Injustice Watch and Chicago Tribune host Facebook Live discussion on undocumented seniors

A man's wrinkled hands count out pills on a paper towel. Seven pill bottles are scattered on the table in front of him.

Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune

Gregorio Pillado prepares to take prescription medicine after getting home from his job on Feb. 25, 2022. Pillado takes medication for heart and blood ailments.

Join experts and reporters from Injustice Watch and the Chicago Tribune for a Facebook Live conversation about the challenges facing Illinois’ aging undocumented population on Wednesday, April 20 at noon CDT.

There are at least 3,900 undocumented immigrants age 65 and older living in Illinois. But by 2030, the number of undocumented seniors in the state will top 55,000 — a 1,300% increase in just a decade, according to a report published by Rush University Medical Center last year.

The Chicago Tribune and Injustice Watch teamed up to report on the challenges facing Illinois’ aging undocumented population in a four-part series focused on access to health care and housing.

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Most undocumented immigrants arrived in the country decades ago and have lived here without a viable pathway to citizenship. Mexican immigrants will make up two-thirds of the undocumented older adult population in Illinois, followed by immigrants from Eastern Europe, Eastern and Southeastern Asia, and Central America.

Now, this generation of immigrants faces the prospect of having lived and died in the shadows.

Chicago Tribune reporter Laura Rodriguez and Injustice Watch reporter Carlos Ballesteros will converse with a panel of experts on the topic about the challenges facing this growing population and potential policy solutions. The panel includes:

  • Rob Paral: Lead researcher on the study of aging undocumented adults. Paral is also an analyst with years of experience in community development, human services and immigrant integration.
  • Erendira Rendon: Vice President of Immigrant Justice at The Resurrection Project (TRP). Ere created TRP’s Immigrant Justice Department and serves as the organization’s lead strategist and manager of local and statewide campaigns that affect the lives of immigrants.
  • Glo Choi: Community organizer with HANA Center, who has been working to build leadership and conditions for thriving within the immigrant community since 2018. His lived experience as a low-income undocumented person guides his organizing principles.