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Immigration

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Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
4:49pm
Tue Feb 18

Illinois Elected Officials Discuss The Benefits Of Passing Immigration Reform (VIDEO)

Immigration reform is not dead, according to a group of elected officials who on Tuesday met in Chicago to discuss the benefits of providing a streamlined path to citizenship for America’s more than 11 million undocumented immigrants.

“So many people in America feel that comprehensive immigration reform is dead, that somehow it doesn’t have any possibility of being enacted into law. And I think, if anything, our presence here on this panel this morning, says that it’s alive and well,” said U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D, IL-4). “The conversation is continuing.”

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:34pm
Thu Feb 13

Gutierrez Presses Military About Enlistment Policies For Citizens With Undocumented Dependents

U.S. Congressmen Luis Gutierrez (D-IL,4) and Mike Coffman (R-CO,6) are calling on military officials to promptly investigate whether U.S. citizens with undocumented immigrant family members are being barred from enlisting in branches of the Armed Forces.

The two congressmen on Wednesday sent a letter to the secretaries of the Air Force, Army and Navy, urging them to finish a review of the U.S. Armed Services' enlistment policies. 

The congressmen, along with 31 other House members, first requested answers about possible exclusionary enlistment rules in a letter they sent to the secretaries on November 21. Illinois Democratic Reps. Bill Foster (11), Mike Quigley (5) and Jan Schakowsky (9) signed on to that letter.

The bipartisan group of 33 congressmen raised concerns about the issue following reports of military recruiters rejecting enlistments from U.S. citizens with spouses and children living illegally in the country.

"There is no reason I can think of why any branch of the military should restrict the military service of individuals based on the immigration status of someone else in their family. None," Gutierrez, chairman of the Immigration Task Force of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, said in November. "I want to know where this is happening, why and what is being done to fix it."

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
6:26pm
Wed Feb 5

Chicago City Council Roundup: Aldermen OK $1.9 Billion In Borrowing; Ervin Wants A State Rep. To Resign

Progress Illinois provides a recap of Wednesday's Chicago City Council meeting.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
3:32pm
Wed Feb 5

Former House Speaker Hastert, Cardinal George Push For Immigration Reform

Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert and Cardinal Francis George joined Illinois business leaders at a discussion in Chicago Tuesday afternoon to press House Republicans to pass immigration reform this year.

Hastert, a Republican who served as House speaker from 1999 to 2007, said immigration reform should accomplish two key goals. He says there should be a pathway to legalization and eventual citizenship for undocumented immigrants currently living in the U.S. The nation's borders also have to be deemed secure, and checkpoints need to be open and able to facilitate people coming in and out of the country, the former lawmaker said.

"Where are we today in Congress," he asked those at the event, hosted by the Illinois Business Immigration Coalition. "Is there a possibility that we can do that? I think so. I am not going to name names, but I sat down with a couple of those [ House GOP] leaders within the last eight or nine months and talked about these issues, and I think there's an understanding, and I think it's time that we move forward."

Cardinal George, the archbishop of Chicago, joined Hastert in support of a pathway to citizenship. He also called on the federal government to halt deportations.

"We should end deportations because they break up families, and the family, not the individual, the family is the basic unit of our society," George told reporters in remarks after the event, held at DePaul University. "If you break up families deliberately, you're going to have a much weaker society, and besides, the human suffering of the children especially and also the spouse." 

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
6:33pm
Wed Jan 29

Breaking Down Quinn's State Of The State Address

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn’s “State of the State” speech Wednesday afternoon zeroed in on job creation, a new early childhood education initiative and efforts to boost small businesses and rebuild the middle class, including a renewed push to raise the state's minimum wage. Progress Illinois takes a look at some of the highlights from the speech.

PI Original
by Aricka Flowers
8:07pm
Tue Jan 28

LIVE BLOG: State Of The Union Address 2014

As President Barack Obama gives his fifth State of the Union address Tuesday night, we will provide you with the highlights from the president's speech.

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