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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."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
10:57am
Wed Feb 11, 2015

Chicago's 32nd Ward Aldermanic Candidates Trade Jabs At Lakeview Forum

The two aldermanic candidates in Chicago's 32nd Ward race traded barbs throughout a Tuesday evening political forum, with incumbent Ald. Scott Waguespack coming under attack for his "personality conflicts" and challenger Elise Doody-Jones taking heat over her residency.

A pro-Mayor Rahm Emanuel super PAC's involvement in the 32nd Ward race was also discussed at the candidate forum, hosted by the South Lakeview Neighbors at the Athenaeum Theater, 2936 N. Southport Ave.

Chicago's 32nd Ward includes parts of Bucktown, Lake View, Lincoln Park, Logan Square, Roscoe Village and Wicker Park.

Waguespack, who has held the 32nd Ward seat since 2007, is a member of the city council's Progressive Reform Caucus. Doody-Jones is a small business owner who formerly served as treasurer of 1st Ward First, an independent political organization in Chicago's 1st Ward that supports the ward's current alderman, Joe Moreno.

Doody-Jones presently resides in the neighboring 1st Ward but says she will move to the 32nd Ward, if elected. She was asked about her residency at the top of Tuesday's forum, to which Doody-Jones explained that her Logan Square home is located just outside the ward's remapped boundaries.

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.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
6:56pm
Wed Feb 4, 2015

Rauner's First State Of The State Address Garners Mixed Reviews

During his first State of the State address on Wednesday, Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner proposed raising the state's minimum wage to $10 over seven years, pushed his plan for right-to-work zones and vowed to keep his campaign promise to increase education funding. Progress Illinois provides highlights from Rauner's speech and rounds up reaction to his agenda for the state.

Quick Hit
by Aricka Flowers
5:17pm
Wed Feb 4, 2015

Ethics Group Files Complaint Against Schock Over His Downton Abbey-Inspired Office Decor

U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock's (R-IL,18) flashy new office decor could land the ab-baring congressman in hot water.

Earlier this week, Washington Post reporter Ben Terris wrote up a piece detailing the pheasant feathers, black candles, chandelier, red walls and gold picture frames and wall sconces that adorn Schock's new office. It turns out that the room's dramatic decor was inspired by Downton Abbey, a fictional, British TV show set in the early 1900s. At least that's the story Terris got from Annie Brahler, the interior decorator who morphed the dreary Capitol Hill office into an eye-catchingly, bold Hollywood knock off of the popular PBS show.     

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