More than one thousand people from across Illinois rallied for immigrant rights today at the Capitol. As Rachel Otwell reports, they were joined by some of the state’s top political leaders:
Laura Garcia is with the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights. She says the state benefits when immigrants become citizens … because they also become taxpayers.
Garcia says citizenship also benefits individuals.
LAURA GARCIA: “It’s a benefit because to continue to renew your visa is a very expensive endeavor. And then you also have much fewer rights.”
House Speaker Mike Madigan, a Democrat from Chicago, was among the state representatives and senators who addressed the group gathered in the Capitol rotunda.
SPEAKER MIKE MADIGAN: “It’s extremely important that every person in this country take citizenship because then they vote in the elections. If you’re not a citizen, you can’t vote. So keep up the good work.”
In this election year, many legislators are campaigning in districts that were redrawn to include more immigrants than they previously represented.