Two Chicago-area elected officials are working to help legal immigrants in Illinois apply for citizenship ahead of next year's general election.
U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL,4) and Chicago Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th) hosted a daylong workshop in the city Monday, during which immigrants could get assistance with citizenship and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) applications.
Gutierrez -- who has spearheaded other citizenship workshops this year and a cross-country tour educating the immigrant community about President Barack Obama's pending executive actions on immigration -- said Monday's event was part of a nationwide effort by immigrant advocates "to help hundreds of thousands of people become American citizens."
"And they'll be ready for the next election," he said.
Newly announced cuts to special education in Chicago spurred parents to gather for a special town hall meeting Tuesday night to discuss the potential impact of the public school district's latest budget move.
Amber Smock, director of advocacy for Access Living, described the budget cuts as "morally wrong," adding that it demonstrates school officials' lack of the creativity needed to find other ways to curb expenses.
"The Chicago Public Schools budget crisis facing students with disabilities is one of the worst we've seen in ten years," said Smock. "The fact that CPS [Chicago Public Schools] has chosen to make most of their budget cuts on the backs of students with disabilities is unfair and incomprehensible."
As President Barack Obama's immigration orders remain on hold while the issue works its way through the courts, a recent analysis by the Center for American Progress (CAP) shows that the pending immigration directives could help grow Illinois' economy by an estimated $14 billion over 10 years.
Signed in November, Obama's executive orders on immigration seek to expand the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative and create a new Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) program.
The two new immigration programs are being challenged in court by a group of 26 mostly Republican-run states. A federal judge in Texas issued a temporary injunction as part of that case in February that blocked Obama's immigration directives from taking effect until the issue is resolved in court. The Obama administration, which was unsuccessful in getting an emergency stay of that February injunction, is currently appealing the Texas judge's decision.