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2     WHEREAS, The State of Illinois and the United States of
3 America were founded by immigrants who traveled from around the
4 world to seek a better life; and
5     WHEREAS, Immigrants have made enormous contributions to
6 our nation's economic, cultural, and political life, and these
7 contributions have been recognized and honored throughout our
8 history and across the political spectrum; and
9     WHEREAS, Our nation's immigration system should uphold our
10 basic values of family, economic opportunity, and fairness; and
11     WHEREAS, The U.S. immigration system is in disarray and in
12 need of comprehensive reform: immigrants who are eager to
13 rejoin family members or willing to work in the U.S. are unable
14 to immigrate under the current system or face long backlogs;
15 and
16     WHEREAS, The mismatch between our nation's immigration
17 laws and our economic needs and family values has led to deaths
18 on the border, a large underground market in false documents,
19 and an undocumented population of eleven million immigrants,
20 including half a million in Illinois, and widespread disregard
21 for our immigration laws; and
22     WHEREAS, President Bush and leaders of both political
23 parties in both chambers of Congress recognize the need for
24 realistic, common-sense, humane solutions for our immigration
25 problems; and
26     WHEREAS, U.S. Senators John McCain, Republican of Arizona,
27 and Edward Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts, and U.S.
28 Representatives Jim Kolbe and Jeff Flake, Republicans from
29 Arizona, and Luis Gutierrez, Democrat from Illinois, have



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1 proposed legislation offering such solutions; and
2     WHEREAS, Their proposed legislation includes cutting
3 through our current immigration backlogs to reunite families
4 sooner; a guestworker program, similar to that proposed by
5 President Bush, that would provide a safe and orderly way for
6 willing immigrant workers to fill essential jobs in our
7 economy; realistic enforcement strategies to ensure the
8 security of our nation's borders; and a means for hardworking
9 immigrants to earn legal status, upon paying a penalty for
10 their time in the U.S. out of status, and to eventually become
11 U.S. citizens; and
12     WHEREAS, By restoring order to our immigration system, such
13 reforms will make our nation more secure as well as meet our
14 labor needs and uphold our basic values as a nation; and
15     WHEREAS, In a recent bipartisan poll, 77% of respondents
16 supported such comprehensive reform to our immigration system;
17 and
18     WHEREAS, Comprehensive immigration reform is supported by
19 business, organized labor, faith communities, and other
20 leaders and sectors in our country; therefore, be it
23 SENATE CONCURRING HEREIN, that we do hereby wholeheartedly
24 support comprehensive immigration reform and the
25 McCain-Kennedy legislation, and we urge the United States
26 Congress to enact this legislation; and be it further
27     RESOLVED, That a suitable copy of this resolution be
28 presented to the President pro-tem of the U.S. Senate, the
29 Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, and to each
30 member of the Illinois Congressional delegation.