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  1. #1
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    May 2006

    Chicago - Area businesses join push for immigration reform

    Area businesses join push for immigration reform
    Group partners with former Gov. Jim Edgar in seeking Republican support

    By Antonio Olivo, Tribune reporter

    12:05 a.m. CDT, April 9, 2010

    About 200 Chicago-area businesses joined former Gov. Jim Edgar on Thursday in announcing the formation of a new coalition to push for federal immigration reforms.

    The group argued that legal status for an estimated 540,000 illegal immigrants in the state would result in billions of dollars of new economic activity.

    "I can't think of any better way to move this economy than to finally deal with comprehensive immigration reform," Edgar said during a news conference Thursday at the Merchandise Mart.

    The representatives of restaurants, hotels, technology companies and other businesses with immigrant workers plan to urge Illinois members of Congress to take up the issue this year. The statewide restaurant association has planned a lobbying trip to Washington next week.

    A number of the members of the new Illinois Business Immigration Coalition expressed hope that Edgar's participation would garner support from fellow Republicans in Congress, where past immigration reform efforts have stalled.

    President Barack Obama, who has said he hopes to tackle immigration reform by the end of the year, has called Republican support necessary to enact changes.

    So far this year, a Democrat-sponsored bill has been introduced in the House that, among other things, would offer a path to legal status for the estimated 10.6 million people in the country illegally. Plans for a similar Senate bill have the stated support of just one Republican — Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.

    Edgar said he has tried to convince Republican colleagues of the economic merits of immigration, warning that a lack of support could cause lasting political damage.

    "If the immigrant community views us as a party that is hostile to them ... we just can't afford that," he said.

    But, as supporters push for another try at immigration reform in Congress, opponents have also organized.

    The North Carolina-based Americans for Legal Immigration PAC is funding a series of "Unite Against Amnesty" rallies around the country next week — including one in Chicago. William Gheen, head of the political action committee, said businesses that argue for immigration reform run the risk of boycotts from customers who don't support it.

    "I hope they know what this will do to their business," Gheen said in a telephone interview.

    At the Thursday event, some business owners appeared wary, declining to comment publicly despite an hour-long presentation arguing that legalization would generate $1.5 trillion in economic gains for the country over the next decade.

    David Midgley, a retired software company developer, was more concerned about whether the new group could have an impact.

    "The trouble is, there are a lot of noneconomic arguments, along the lines of ‘Oh, my God, we've got to keep them out,'" he said. "Frankly, I don't know how to counter that. I hope we can."
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  2. #2
    Senior Member vistalad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    First rule of politics is Follow the money.

    Illegals are already spending what they don't send back to Mexico. So where is this new money coming from?

  3. #3
    Senior Member ReggieMay's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    I live in Illinois and what I see is illegals checking out in grocery lines with food stamps, illegals at the food pantry, illegals at the free health clinics, illegals in the welfare line collecting as much as possible for their anchor babies (uh oh, not PC). They're milking the city, county and state dry with their demands on welfare programs that should rightfully belong to American citizens. Our schools are awful - our own American children can't learn because the non-English speaking illegals are so disruptive. Once these folks are legal they will apply for even more welfare programs and will collect EITC rather than pay taxes. Hey, maybe Obama can drive the percent not paying taxes over 50%.
    "A Nation of sheep will beget a government of Wolves" -Edward R. Murrow

    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

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