U of I Leaders on Business Panel Pushing Immigration Reform
By The Associated Press, with addtional reporting from Illinois Public Media
A new group of business leaders wants to recruit 300 CEOs and 1,000 small businesses in Illinois to push for "common sense'' bipartisan immigration reform. It includes two heads from the University of Illinois.
The Illinois Business Immigration Coalition also includes leaders from Peoria-based Caterpillar Inc. as well as Motorola Solutions Inc., trade groups and immigration-rights advocates. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel backs the coalition.
U of I President Robert Easter and university Board of Trustees Chair Chris Kennedy both sit on the panel.
Caterpillar CEO Doug Olberhelman spoke at a kickoff event today in Chicago. He says the manufacturer has trouble filling both high-and lower-skill jobs and immigration reform could help.
The coalition is forming as lawmakers in Washington get ready to hammer out details of a potential immigration law overhaul. Business and labor leaders last week agreed on broad outline.
Emanuel says it's "a huge opportunity'' that shouldn't be squandered "because of politics.''