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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Tue Jun 18, 2013

Comprehensive Immigration Reform Would Mean Big Gains For Social Security & Medicare, Analysts Say

Medicare and Social Security would see a significant boost in payroll tax contributions if America’s 11 million undocumented immigrants were provided legal status and an earned pathway to citizenship, say health and economic policy experts.

Specifically, if 85 percent of the country’s eligible undocumented immigrants gained legal status and earned citizenship, they would contribute a net gain of $606.4 billion to the Social Security system over a 36-year period, a new report from the Center For American Progress Shows.  

It is estimated that undocumented workers would pay $1.2 trillion in Social Security taxes from their earnings, yet only $580.9 billion in benefits would be doled out to them over those 36 years, according to the report.

The potential net gain is enough to fund the retirement of 2.4 million Americans, said Patrick Oakford, an economic policy research assistant at the Center for American Progress and co-author of the report.

“That’s your parents, my parents, grandparents, someone’s neighbor,” Oakford said. “Those retirement benefits will be supported by the undocumented population if we allow them to travel the earned pathway to citizenship.” 

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PI Original
by Ashlee Rezin
Mon Jun 17, 2013

Local ICE Raid Ramps Up Efforts To Stop Deportations During Immigration Debate (VIDEO)

Immigrant day laborers are seen as disposable, easy targets by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, according to immigrant rights advocates who campaigned for the release of an undocumented Guatemalan worker who was arrested in Chicago Wednesday. He now faces deportation. The raid has reinvigorated efforts to stop deportations while comprehensive immigration reform is considered in Congress.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Fri Jun 14, 2013

Poll: Illinoisans Overwhelmingly Support Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill

A new state poll released by Public Policy Polling Thursday shows that 78 percent of likely Illinois voters strongly or somewhat support the bipartisan, immigration reform legislation currently being debated in the U.S. Senate.

The survey of 502 likely Illinois voters also shows that 75 percent strongly or somewhat support a bill that includes a tough, but fair pathway to citizenship.

“It’s clear that the public is demanding action on comprehensive reform,” said Dave Bender, executive director of the American Council of Engineering Companies of Illinois, on a conference call with reporters Thursday regarding the poll.

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Quick Hit
by Aricka Flowers
Tue Jun 11, 2013

Kirk Votes Against Debate On Senate Immigration Reform Bill

U.S. Sen Mark Kirk (R-IL) was one of 15 senators who voted against discussion of the chamber's bipartisan immigration reform bill. The Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act Of 2013, SB 744, was drafted by the Senate's Gang of Eight, which includes U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin. The bill was filed back in April. 

The legislation creates a pathway to citizenship for the nation's more than 11 million undocumented immigrants who meet certain mandates and pay fines, after a five- or 10-year wait. The pathway to citizenship is also dependent on the nation meeting certain border security benchmarks. But some Republicans are calling for even more stringent border security provisions. Kirk, for example, says he would like to see the more aggressive border security provisions outlined in an amendment by U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) included in the bill before he could sign on to the legislation.

"I’ve always said border security first, and I actually mean that procedurally,” Kirk told Politico following the vote. “If [the] Cornyn [amendment] can pass, then that opens the door for me.”  

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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Fri Jun 7, 2013

House Amendment Could Lead To Deportation of DREAMers, Immigrant Advocates Say

The U.S. House passed an amendment Thursday that looks to cut off funding necessary for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to process Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) applications.

U.S. Rep. Steve King (R-IA) is the main sponsor of the amendment, which would be attached to the larger 2014 Department of Homeland Security spending bill. 

The amendment passed the full House by a 224-201 vote. No Illinois House Republicans voted against the measure.

Lawrence Benito, CEO of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR), said King "is probably the most anti-immigrant congressman in the country."

"For people to align themselves with him and his drastic view on immigration, particularly in a time when Republicans simply just need to remember what happened last November, they are going to be an extinct party if they continue with this level of anti-immigrant behavior," he stressed.

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