Giannoulias pushes for meaningful Immigration Reform

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Challenges Congressman Kirk to tell voters the truth

Chicago, IL – Standing with leaders from Chicago’s Latino community, U.S. Senate nominee Alexi Giannoulias vowed to fight for passage of the DREAM Act and other meaningful immigration reforms while challenging his opponent to take a stand on critical issues.

“We need common-sense and comprehensive immigration reform- and we need it now,” Giannoulias said during a press conference in Pilsen with community, business and elected leaders, including U.S. Senator Dick Durbin and Congressman Luis Gutiérrez. “Unfortunately, Congressman Kirk puts politics over meaningful solutions on issues important to Latino families and refuses to embrace meaningful immigration reform or take a position on the DREAM Act.  This is a slap in the face to students who are counting on this legislation to become productive members of society.  I know Congressman Kirk has a difficult time sticking with his positions on the most important issues, but I urge him to fully support this legislation.”

Congressman Luis Gutiérrez told the crowd Giannoulias is the only candidate in the race to support comprehensive immigration reform and that he has consistently fought for middle-class values over special interests.  As State Treasurer, Giannoulias worked with Gutiérrez  to negotiate a settlement with Bank of America, ensuring that workers at Republic Windows and Doors received the wages and benefits they were due after the factory shut down with three days notice.

“More than ever, we need leaders like Alexi in Washington, D.C. who are not afraid to stand up for what’s right and who will move our country forward,” said Gutiérrez.  “Congressman Kirk thinks that immigration reform means sending condoms to Mexico to lower population growth.  That’s not an answer and it’s not productive.

“I had hoped Mark Kirk would be a moderate, common-sense voice in Congress and someone I could reach across the aisle and work with in a bipartisan manner,” Gutiérrez added. “Unfortunately, Mark Kirk has been far from moderate, and his views on immigration are simply unfair and unworkable.”

Giannoulias expressed his dismay after Republicans blocked a vote on the DREAM Act last week. The bill would provide young immigrants the opportunity to attend college and achieve permanent residency. Currently, many qualified students who have earned high school diplomas are prohibited from going to college because of their immigration status.

“We should not punish individuals who were brought here as children and are trying their hardest to realize the American Dream,” Giannoulias said. “As Senator, I will fight for the passage of the DREAM Act so that these young people can be fully integrated into society and become productive, tax-paying citizens.

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