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PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
2:02pm
Mon Mar 9

Rauner, Illinois GOP Congressmen Call For Vote On Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Progress Illinois provides highlights from Monday's Illinois Business Immigration Coalition forum featuring Gov. Bruce Rauner, Chicago Archbishop Blase Cupich, U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Illinois Republican Congressmen Bob Dold, Adam Kinzinger and Aaron Schock, during which the officials called on Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform legislation.

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

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

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
5:44pm
Mon Feb 2

Report: Immigration Reform Crucial To Midwest Agricultural Success

Current U.S. immigration policy fails to adequately address agricultural industry needs, and congressional reforms are required to strengthen immigrant-dependent farm and food sectors in the Midwest and elsewhere in the county, argues a recent report by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

The report, which says "immigration reform is urgently needed for a robust agricultural sector in the Midwest," followed President Barack Obama's executive orders on immigration announced late last year.

According to the council, Obama's executive orders fall short for agriculture in part because only 250,000 of the up to 5 million undocumented immigrants eligible for temporary relief from deportation under the plan will be farm workers.

"In November, President Obama announced long-awaited executive action on immigration policy, but the measure provides at best only minimal benefit to farm workers," Michele Wucker, vice president of studies at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, said in a statement. "At worst, it may actually worsen critical labor shortages at farms across the region."

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

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).

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