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Thousands gather, call for immigration reform

Published: Thursday, Aug. 1, 2013 12:17 p.m. CDT
(Bill Ackerman - backerman@shawmedia.com)
Before marching to Easton Park, people rally in the West Chicago City Hall parking lot on Saturday, July 27, to urge the Republican Party and local Congressman and House Chief Deputy Whip Peter Roskam to support comprehensive immigration reform.

WEST CHICAGO – Thousands gathered Saturday at West Chicago City Hall to ask U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Wheaton) to support immigration reform that includes a pathway to citizenship, according to a news release from the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights.

“The failure by House Republicans to move forward with immigration reform during July further jeopardizes the strained relationship they have with Latino and immigrant voters,” the release said.

According to the release, a majority of the U.S. House of Representatives supports comprehensive immigration reform, but House Republican leaders have refused to allow a vote on the issue.  

The release questions Roskam’s voting record, saying it “has not been in favor of Latinos.”

In a recent Suburban Life Media guest column, Roskam discussed his views on immigration reform, saying the United States first needs to secure its borders and then focus on individual reform bills, rather than one large bill that tries to tackle multiple issues.

“By working through small bills that fix targeted problems, we will ultimately solve the bigger problem in a way that is transparent and easy to understand,” Roskam wrote. “This is in direct contrast to what the Senate has passed – one massive, complicated bill that few lawmakers have actually read and understood.”

Roskam’s ideas include legislation that addresses high-skilled visas, seasonal guest worker permits for agricultural workers and a process for undocumented immigrants to “get right with the law.”

Roskam represents Illinois’ Sixth District, which includes parts of Bartlett, Carol Stream, Darien, Downers Grove, Glen Ellyn, Hinsdale, Lisle, Lombard, Naperville, Oak Brook, West Chicago, Westmont, Wheaton, Willowbrook and Winfield.

The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights includes more than 130 organizations dedicated to promoting the rights of immigrants and refugees.

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