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PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
7:02pm
Wed Feb 18, 2015

Critics Slam Rauner's Budget Over 'Morally Reprehensible' Cuts

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner is calling for massive cuts to health care, education and other vital services as part of his budget blueprint to "turnaround" Illinois. Progress Illinois rounds up some of the praise and outrage that has poured in following Rauner's first budget address.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
6:38pm
Tue Feb 17, 2015

Gutierrez, Illinois Immigration Reformers Call Judge's Ruling A 'Temporary Setback' (VIDEO)

U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL,4) says educational outreach around President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration will press ahead, despite a federal judge's ruling on Monday that temporarily stalled the administration's deportation relief plans.

The Obama administration is expected to appeal the judge's ruling, which comes in response to a lawsuit filed by a group of 26 mostly Republican-run states seeking to stop the president's immigration directives. Illinois has not joined the lawsuit, which claims the two immigration executive orders signed by Obama in November are unconstitutional. The federal judge, Andrew Hanen of the Federal District Court for the Southern District of Texas, determined that the states met the minimum requirements needed to proceed with the lawsuit. 

Hanen's temporary injunction blocks Obama's two new immigration programs from taking effect before the case is decided. The application process for one of the new immigration policies was slated to launch Wednesday.

At a Tuesday morning press conference in Chicago, Gutierrez and leaders with SEIU* and the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) called the judge's decision a "temporary setback" that won't derail their efforts to help immigrants prepare for administrative relief.

"This process can be delayed, but we as a community will not be deterred," Gutierrez said, adding that he believes Obama's new immigration policies will ultimately prevail after the legal process plays out. "Let's make it absolutely clear that the president's actions are well established in legal precedent."

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
6:12pm
Tue Feb 10, 2015

Executive Immigration Actions Could Boost IL Economy; Voters Oppose GOP Efforts Against Relief

President Barack Obama's recent immigration executive actions could greatly benefit Illinois' economy, according to new data. Meanwhile, the battle in Congress over Department of Homeland Security funding rages on as a new poll shows that most Illinoisans oppose GOP efforts, supported by U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, to thwart the president's steps on immigration.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
2:38pm
Fri Jan 16, 2015

Durbin, Gutierrez Slam 'Hateful' Republican Legislation To Rollback Immigration Programs (VIDEO)

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL,4) decried legislation passed in the GOP-led House this week that would block President Barack Obama's recent executive actions on immigration and end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Speaking at a Friday morning press conference in Chicago, the two lawmakers also shamed Republicans for "instilling fear" in people who are getting ready to apply for administrative relief under the president's immigration orders signed in November.

On Wednesday, the Republican-controlled House approved a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) funding bill including amendments that would reverse Obama's immigration plan and defund the DACA program, which grants a two-year protection against deportation for immigrants who came to the United States as young children.

"On the floor of the United States House of Representatives, they passed what I would consider to be one of the most hateful measures in modern congressional history," Durbin said at Erie Neighborhood House, 1347 W. Erie St. "What they said was this: If you are a person who benefits from DACA ... you will not be able to renew your DACA status. Nor if you didn't apply in the past can you file for the first time for DACA. Well how many people will be affected by that Republican amendment? We estimate 2 million young people in America eligible to sign up for DACA. Six-hundred thousand have already signed up for DACA, 30,000 in the state of Illinois."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:48pm
Wed Dec 3, 2014

Immigrant Advocacy Groups Prep Community For Executive Actions, Warn About Scammers

Now that President Barack Obama has signed executive orders on immigration reform, advocates are working to educate those in the immigrant community about the options available to them and potential immigration scams.

"We're really trying to inform the community that nothing can be filed right now, and they shouldn't listen to any unscrupulous individuals that are saying that they can file applications for them at this point," said Rocio Alcantar, supervising attorney with the Heartland Alliance's Chicago-based National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC).

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
4:39pm
Mon Nov 24, 2014

Lame Duck Congress Faces Tight Budget Deadline To Avert Government Shutdown

Federal lawmakers are up against a December 11 deadline to pass spending legislation to avert a government shutdown. Progress Illinois previews what's ahead for Congress in the remaining days of the lame duck session, including a possible budget showdown over President Barack Obama's executive action on immigration.

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