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Immigration
PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
11:47am
Sun Oct 13, 2013

Thousands March For Immigration Reform In Chicago (VIDEO)

Chants of "Si Se Puede!" could be heard throughout downtown Chicago as thousands marched and rallied for comprehensive immigration reform and an end to deportations Saturday afternoon. Progress Illinois was there for the event.

Quick Hit
by Aricka Flowers
4:35pm
Fri Oct 11, 2013

Number Of The Day: $20.8 Million

Organizing for Action (OFA) has reportedly raised $20.8 million in its first three quarters of existence.

The organization was born out of the president's re-election campaign with the intent of "organizing to create jobs and strengthen the middle class, fix our broken immigration system, fight climate change, prevent gun violence, get the facts out about Obamacare, protect women’s rights, ensure marriage equality and push forward on even more issues," according to the OFA web site.

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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
2:36pm
Wed Oct 9, 2013

Illinois Latino Politicians Slam Roskam For Holding Immigration Reform Hostage

Latino elected officials in Illinois had a clear message for "anti-immigrant" U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam (R, IL-6) at a Chicago press conference Wednesday: listen to the voters and bring immigration reform legislation up for a vote in the House.

Last Wednesday, House Democrats introduced a comprehensive immigration reform bill that is nearly identical to the bipartisan immigration reform package the Senate passed in June. Leaders of the GOP-led House, however, appear to be ignoring the measure, which would also create a pathway to citizenship for the nation's more than 11 million undocumented immigrants.

Those at Wednesday's gathering said Roskam, Illinois' top House Republican and the chamber's chief deputy whip, has the power to help advance the measure to the floor for a vote, but instead, he's holding immigration reform hostage.

"We have an Illinoisan (who) is becoming an obstacle in making sure that our immigrant brothers and sisters get a fair chance, and that’s got to stop," said Chicago Ald. Ray Suarez (31st). "If (Roskam) doesn’t wake up, I believe in November, [the] next election, the Latino community and the Asian community are not going to be supporting this gentleman." Read more »

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:05pm
Wed Oct 2, 2013

House Dems Introduce Immigration Reform Bill, Call Republicans To Negotiating Table

In the midst of a government shutdown, House Democrats on Wednesday introduced a comprehensive immigration reform bill that creates a pathway to citizenship for America's more than 11 million undocumented immigrants.

The bill, introduced by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA, 12) and other Democratic co-sponsors, is nearly identical to the bipartisan immigration reform package passed by the Senate in June.

Lawrence Benito, CEO of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR), said he believes the bill is the direct result of advocates across the country fighting for reform. Benito noted that 160 immigration-related rallies in cities across the country are planned for this weekend to keep up the pressure.

"They're doing what we asked them to do, which is put forward their bill," Benito told Progress Illinois. "We think it's progress in the right direction. It's not perfect, but we believe it's an opportunity for bipartisan negotiations to get the job done." Read more »

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
3:57pm
Wed Sep 25, 2013

Local Organizations Push For Increased Civic Engagement On National Voter Registration Day (VIDEO)

With the 2014 general election just 13 months away and voter registration numbers at an all-time low, hundreds of volunteers took to Chicagoland streets Tuesday to mark National Voter Registration Day in an effort to get as many new voters on the rolls as possible.

“Election after election, millions of voters aren’t able to vote because they miss voter registration deadlines or they didn’t know how to register,” said Rebecca Reynolds, 28, executive director of Chicago Votes. “This day is a day to try to make sure we leave no one out.”

Chicago Votes, a volunteer-run civic engagement advocacy group, served as Illinois’ lead organization on Tuesday’s national day of action to increase voter registration. More than 40 local groups, including the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) and the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, partnered with Chicago Votes to encourage residents to exercise their basic right to vote.

“Voter registration has hit an all-time low in the city of Chicago,” said Reynolds. “We’re trying to make voter registration easier, and more accessible to everybody.” Read more »