Activists Push Citizenship Drive

June 26, 2006

An Illinois immigration group wants to help state residents become citizens in an effort to increase voter rolls.

On July 1, groups in Chicago and two dozen other U.S. cities will help eligible legal residents begin the paperwork necessary to obtain citizenship.

Illinois Democratic Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky acknowledges there is a political motivation behind the drive.

"These people who are going to become citizens, who are going to be registering to vote, and then getting out to vote, are very clear about who is stopping them and who is helping them," Schakowsky says. "Who's on their side and who isn't. And right now they're seeing that the Republican-led Congress is not with them."

Activists say they want to assist 15,000 state residents obtain citizenship.

The drive follows two large immigration marches this spring that brought hundreds of thousands to the streets of Chicago.