State News
4:40 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Mayor Ardis, state mayors, urge immigration reform

Nearly two-dozen Illinois mayors, including Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis, are urging the state’s Congressional delegation to support immigration reform.  The mayors are making a business case, rather than pushing for a particular bill.  They say updating the nation’s immigration policy would be an economic boon by creating jobs and increasing revenues.  Champaign Mayor Don Gerard says that’s critical for his community, which is home to the University of Illinois’ flagship campus.

 “You know, one of the biggest things is just retaining talent, whether it’s Asian students or Norwegian students or German or Canadian or whatever at the University of Illinois is allowing individuals to make a choice to be part of our community and keep their talents here, and help our local businesses, industries, innovators, entrepreneurs thrive.”

 Mayors from Chicago, Bloomington, Normal, and Cicero also signed the letter, which stressed the importance of border security.  The Democratically-led U.S. Senate passed an immigration bill over the summer, and one of its architects is Illinois Democrat Dick Durbin.  Republican House Speaker John Boehner says he’s hopeful the House can move on immigration reform before the end of the year.