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Local Group: 2009 is the Time for Immigration Reform

June 1, 2009

Chicago, IL – It's a broad group with the same goal. Community, faith, labor and business leaders gather in Chicago today to kick off the "Reform Immigration for America Campaign," a national effort to build momentum for comprehensive immigration reform this year.

The executive director of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, Joshua Hoyt, says the coalition will work together to find practical solutions.

"Our current immigration system is broken, everybody knows that. A reform will help America. It will be good for families, it will be good for workers and it would be good for our security."

Hoyt says reforms are needed that promote immigrant integration, keep families together, enhance the nation's safety and protect the wages of all workers. President Obama meets with congressional leaders next week to discuss immigration policy for the first time.

Hoyt says there is a lot of interest in the local campaign, and it speaks to the history of Chicago as a city of immigrants.

"We have Catholics, we have evangelicals, we have Jews, we have Muslims, we have business, we have labor - working together to win immigration reform. We hope people will join us in fighting for sensible solutions."

The Chicago campaign kicks off at 1 p.m. today at Jane Addams Hull House. The "Reform Immigration for America Campaign" also is launching today in more than 35 other cities, including Boston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York and Omaha.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - IL