Too Far for Aid by Shelley Hoover
20,000 immigrants in Illinois live further than 60 miles from the nearest Legal Aid Organization. Without proper legal aid, those without the financial means to pay for a private attorney are vulnerable to predatory legal aid. This puts them at risk for committing a felony by accidentally submitting incorrect paperwork and losing thousands of dollars in the process.
This map series shows how the geographic divide between the Illinois' regions of Chicagoland and Downstate put an undue burden on immigrants and aid agencies alike. Using American Community Survey 5-year estimates of non-citizens by census tract and the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) roster of accredited agencies, the maps show that tens of thousands of immigrants live further than a reasonable distance from aid. It also shows that many aid organizations potentially could serve thousands of immigrants, often times with only one or two attorneys on staff.
Project methods: Software: maps were created with QGIS. Analysis: The American Community Survey data was analyzed by buffering distance from location of BIA organizations. The buffer zones were used to clip population statistics that fell within or outside the zone. Clipped regions calculated the total number of non-US citizen populations within the desired region.
Shelley Hoover is a hobbyist map-maker who enjoys volunteering with a variety of non-profit organizations in her home city of Chicago.