Some Illinois lawmakers angry with U.S Sen. Kirk over immigration

June 13, 2013

By: Katie Kather

(WBEZ/Katie Kather)
Ald. Ricardo Munoz (22nd) spoke at an immigration press conference Thursday. He was joined by other Latino lawmakers and leaders who urge U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk to change his stance on immigration.

Local lawmakers are calling out Illinois U.S. Senator Mark Kirk for voting not to debate immigration reform at a federal level.

State representatives, senators, Chicago aldermen and community leaders met at Benito Juarez High School in Pilsen where Illinois lawmakers signed the Dream Act two years ago.

Cook County Commissioner Jesus Garcia said he is shocked and dismayed at how Kirk is representing Illinois when it comes to immigration.

“This is about leadership. It’s about the future of the country. It’s about what is in Illinois’ best interest,” he said. “Sen. Kirk is out of touch with what is going on in Illinois and in the country.”

Kirk has said he wants to see a bipartisan strategy to strengthen border security before moving forward for immigration overhaul.

Ald. Rey Colon (35th) said his drive to Benito Juarez from the Humboldt Park neighborhood was evidence of Latinos’ positive effect on a community.

“I couldn’t help but notice the number of businesses that are immigrants - businesses that are fueling our economy,” Colon said.

“These are Sen. Kirk’s constituents. The children in this school are Sen. Kirk’s constituents, and all these people are crying out for reform,” he said.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) says he wants a final vote on the bill by July 4.

Katie Kather is an arts & culture reporting intern at WBEZ. Follow her @ktkather