Illinois Democrats Push Obama on Immigration

August 3, 2009

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The letter’s signers include (from left) Reps. Luis Gutiérrez, Danny Davis and Mike Quigley. (WBEZ/Chip Mitchell)


Seven congressmen from President Barack Obama's home state are urging him to lead a push for overhauling the nation's immigration laws.In June, Obama said he'd help craft a comprehensive immigration bill this year.

Now a letter from seven Illinois Democrats increases pressure on the president to follow through. The letter says the overhaul should lay a path to citizenship for the nation's estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants.

The signers include Rep. Mike Quigley of Chicago, who says the nation's economic recession should not push immigrant rights to the back burner.

QUIGLEY: This is the time to step up and move forward that which has been waiting a long time.

Quigley sounds different on the issue than the man he replaced in Congress. Rahm Emanuel labeled immigration reform the new third rail of American politics and warned fellow Democrats to focus on border enforcement.

Now Emanuel is President Obama's chief of staff. He and other White House officials say a comprehensive bill would have little chance of passing this year.