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Chicago Talks Immigration Reform

Immigration reform and advocacy continues to mobilize Chicago area business leaders.

In the evening of June 2, The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) hosted more than 300 people at its 25th anniversary celebration.  ICIRR is a state-wide coalition of 138 organizations dedicated to promoting the rights of immigrants and refugees to full and equal participation in the civic, cultural, social, and political life of our diverse society.  Director Mayorkas was honored with ICIRR’s Golden Door Award for his leadership of USCIS in its efforts to ensure that United States citizenship remains a valued and accessible benefit to all who are eligible.  ICIRR singled out the Obama Administration’s decision in 2010 to keep the naturalization fee flat despite required cost-based increases in other immigration benefit categories.  This was ICIRR’s inauguration of its Golden Door Award.

Earlier in the day, as part of the Obama Administration’s initiative to elevate the debate around immigration reform, Director Mayorkas joined Chicago area business leaders to discuss the need and advocate for comprehensive immigration reform.  The roundtable discussion drew leaders from all sectors of the community, including the Chamber of Commerce, the Illinois Restaurant Association, and representatives from financial services, building development, non-profits, and the clergy.  The roundtable’s participants shared with Director Mayorkas the need for comprehensive immigration reform, ideas for further engagement and mobilization, and the Chicago community’s plans to promote the needed reforms.

On May 10th, President Obama issued a call to action to fix our broken immigration system so that it works for our 21st economic and national security needs.  And over the past three weeks, just like the roundtable Director Mayorkas had in Chicago, we’ve had hundreds of Americans in all parts of the country and all walks of life participate in conversations about realistic solutions to fixing our broken immigration system. Click here to read a blog post sampling of how everyday Americans are elevating the debate around fixing our broken immigration system and add your voice to the conversation by hosting a roundtable in your community by visiting