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Southwest Organizing Project
Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
Wed Jul 17, 2013

Activists Call On Rep. Lipinski To Support Comprehensive Immigration Reform (VIDEO)

Approximately 50 immigrant rights activists held a prayer vigil outside the Chicago office of U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski (D, IL-3) Wednesday, hoping to convince the lawmaker to support comprehensive immigration reform.

Lipinski, who was one of only six Democrats in the U.S. House to support a Republican-authored restrictive abortion bill last month, has generally been unclear regarding his position on immigration reform and has not offered his support for legislation that was recently passed in the U.S. Senate.

“Monday, July 15, was Congressman Lipinski’s birthday, and I want to congratulate him because he could celebrate his birthday with his family. Today is my husband’s birthday, and because of the broken immigration system, he is not with his family,” said Carolina Rivera, 40, one of Wednesday’s demonstrators.

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
Fri Jun 28, 2013

Immigration Advocates Target Illinois Republicans As Bill Heads To GOP-Led House (VIDEO)

While the U.S. Senate was voting in favor of an immigration reform package that could provide a pathway to citizenship for America’s 11 million undocumented immigrants, supporters of the legislation were targeting Illinois Republican leaders at a rally in downtown Chicago Thursday.

More than 100 immigration reform advocates at Thursday’s rally vowed to apply pressure on U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam (R, IL-6), who serves as the House chief deputy whip, and Illinois GOP Party Chairman Jack Dorgan, to demand their support of comprehensive immigration reform.

Passed by a 68-32 vote in the Senate Thursday, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act Of 2013, SB 744, now advances to the Republican-controlled U.S. House.

“It’s political suicide if they don’t support immigration reform,” said Yesenia Sanchez, executive director of the West Suburban Action Project (Proyecto de Accion de los Suburbios del Oeste, PASO). “It would not be a very smart decision to stand against this bill. The time is now for commonsense immigration reform and elections are coming up. Immigrants and their allies vote, too.”

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
Fri Apr 5, 2013

Parent Mentor Program Celebrates Statewide Expansion, Urges Legislators To Continue Funding (VIDEO)

The Parent Mentor Program that started in Chicago’s Northwest side neighborhood of Logan Square more than 17 years ago celebrated its statewide expansion today with an approximately 500-person conference at Richard J. Daley College.

In one year’s time the Parent Mentor Program more than doubled its presence in schools across the state, increasing from 28 schools last year, to 57 today. Participants gathered at today’s conference came from cities ranging from Moline to Niles.

They shared stories from their classrooms, discussed challenges and successes, made a plan for where they’d like to see the program in 10 years and also wrote letters to Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago), asking him to support additional funding for the program.