A who’s who of Illinois Democrats called on immigration reform advocates Monday to demand a vote on the issue in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Gov. Pat Quinn and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel joined other state officeholders and several members of Illinois’ congressional delegation during a Loop rally at the University Club of Chicago, hosted by the Illinois Business Immigration Coalition.
Emanuel told the crowd Chicago is a “city of immigrants” and that “immigrants have come to this great city to give their children a chance at the American Dream.”
“You cannot be pro-small business and anti-immigration reform,” Emanuel said. “The two go together.”
Quinn said Illinois should lead the charge to get immigration reform passed in the House.
“It’s not going to happen from the top-down,” Quinn said. “It’s going to happen from the grass-roots people all over America, all over Illinois.”
Other speakers included state Senate President John Cullerton and U.S. Reps. Tammy Duckworth, Luis Gutierrez, Robin Kelly, Brad Schneider, Jan Schakowsky, Bill Foster and Mike Quigley.
The Democratic-controlled U.S. Senate passed a sweeping immigration overhaul in June 2013 with a path to citizenship for the estimated more than 11 million people in the U.S. illegally.
Since then, it has stalled in the GOP-run House.