As I experienced as chairman of the DuPage County Board, being a leader often means making unpopular short-term decisions for the long-term public good. That is why I was particularly pleased to hear about The Chicago Council on Global Affairs’ bipartisan discussion featuring Republicans Adam Kinzinger and Mark Kirk and Democrats Luis Gutierrez and Rahm Emanuel, who jointly expressed their bipartisan support for immigration reform.
Illinois deserves leaders who make the tough choices to improve our fiscal condition, foster innovation, expand our economy and create jobs. There is broad bipartisan agreement among business groups and voters that commonsense immigration reform will help us meet those goals. As Congressman Kinzinger said, “A growing economy — an economy with new people — is how we’re going to be strong into the future.”
Of course, as each of the panelists affirmed, we have to make getting U.S. citizens back to work a priority, but the reality is that we also need smart immigration policies to fill jobs that are not filled by natural-born citizens. I, therefore, thank Congressman Kinzinger for his courage to work across the aisle on immigration reform, and I encourage leaders throughout the state to do the same.
From the March 19-25, 2014, issue