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PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
6:29pm
Fri Oct 10, 2014

Election Preview: Foster, Senger Battle For The 11th Congressional District Seat

Progress Illinois previews the 11th congressional district race between incumbent Democrat Bill Foster and Republican challenger State Rep. Darlene Senger.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
3:57pm
Tue Apr 8, 2014

Immigrant Rights Activists Arrested While Protesting Deportations At Broadview Detention Center (VIDEO)

Eleven immigrant rights activists were arrested in Broadview Tuesday morning after linking arms in the street and blocking traffic near a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention center to protest deportations.

Before the arrests, a few hundred people picketed outside the detention center, located at 1930 Beach St., as part of the national "Not One More" deportation campaign, urging President Barack Obama to use his executive authority to halt deportations immediately. Nationwide, activists with the campaign took part in more than 80 immigration-related actions over the weekend.

On Monday, local immigrant rights advocates began to march from ICE's downtown Chicago field office to the Broadview detention center, making stops along the way for a prayer vigil and other actions.

The two-day event culminated with a rally in front of the detention center, where activists chanted “Two million, Too many” to raise awareness about the nearly 2 million people who have been deported under the Obama administration.

"He has the record of two million deportations. More than any other president in the history of the United States," said Reyna Wences with Undocumented Illinois. "In only six years, we've seen families torn apart. We've seen the pain that places like Broadview represent for our families, and so we're also here to tell the community, 'Hey this is in your backyard. This is happening right here, and we came to shut it down.'"

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
2:59pm
Mon Oct 28, 2013

House Republicans Must Act On Immigration Reform, Say Community Leaders, Elected Officials (VIDEO)

Inaction on immigration reform will have negative consequences for the mostly white, male-dominated Republican Party during next year’s election, according to a group of protesters who vowed Saturday to vote Illinois’ GOP congressional delegates out of office if they do not work towards passing legislation that would overhaul the nation’s broken immigration system.

“Give us a vote on citizenship or risk extinction,” read flyers left outside of U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam's (R, IL-6) downtown Chicago office doors Saturday as more than 50 immigration reform advocates chanted, “Remember November!”

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
4:08pm
Wed Aug 21, 2013

Roskam Gets Targeted By Activists For 'Standing In The Way' Of Immigration, Health Care Reform (VIDEO)

While U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam (R, IL-6) attended a town hall meeting in Naperville on Wednesday, a group of protesters, upset with the congressman’s opposition to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and several immigration reform proposals, held a demonstration outside.

Roskam, the protesters allege, has not offered any concrete solutions to fix the nation’s broken immigration and health care systems, but instead has only blocked solutions based on partisanship.

“Democracy can’t survive on just standing in the way,” said John Gaudette, organizing director for Citizen Action Illinois, who helped organize the protest. “If he’s taking the opposing stance, he needs to tell us what works and come up with an alternative plan.”

Quick Hit
by Aricka Flowers
5:12pm
Wed Aug 7, 2013

Schock Talks Immigration Reform At Town Hall Meeting (VIDEO)

U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL,18) was questioned about his stance on immigration reform during a recent town hall meeting in Heyworth, Illinois and his answers may provide a glimpse of what is to come after the August recess.

When asked if he was in favor of a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants living in the states, the congressman, who said the current system "is broken", seemed open to supporting a comprehensive immigration reform plan that includes such a provision.

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
5:31pm
Tue Aug 6, 2013

Attempts To Deport Nine DREAMers Gets Spotlight As Grassroots Immigration Reform Efforts Surge On

Nicho Gonzalez said he is confident his undocumented friend Lulu Martinez, who is without a criminal record, will soon be released from the Arizona immigrant detention center at which she has been held since June.

Her “unwarranted” detention, he said, will send the message to all of America’s undocumented immigrants that “it’s time to stand up and let our voices be heard.”

“We need to talk about deportations,” Gonzalez, 26, said. “We’ve been talking about this immigration reform legislation, but nothing is being done to stop the deportations or bring back the 1.2 million deportees.”
Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:19pm
Mon Jul 8, 2013

Durbin, Illinois Activists Call On U.S. House To Pass Immigration Reform Bill

The comprehensive immigration reform bill that passed out of the Senate last month now faces an uncertain future in the GOP-led House.

Now, it’s more important than ever for immigration reform advocates to ramp up pressure for a bill that would help America’s 11 million undocumented immigrants find a pathway to citizenship, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) said at a forum on the topic in Chicago on Monday.

“We may never get another chance,” the senator said at the discussion, sponsored by the Latino Policy Forum and the University of Illinois at Chicago. “The president supports it. We passed it in the Senate now, and we have to let (members of the House) know.”

Durbin said it would take strong community organizing at the district and state level to help sway reluctant House members to push through an immigration reform measure.

“What it all boils down to is there’s a big job ahead of us,” Durbin said. “We achieved quite a bit. We have more to go.”

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
12:45pm
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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