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Illinois: More Illegal Immigrants Than Arizona

By Kevin Robinson in News on Jul 30, 2010 2:00PM

Photo by Kevin Robinson/Chicagoist
According to a report from Fox 32 WFLD, Illinois is home to nearly half a million undocumented immigrants (432,000), almost twice the number believed to be living in Arizona (283,000). But unlike the Copper State, where Mexicans make up 90 percent of those immigrants, only 40 percent of Illinois's undocumented immigrant population are native Mexican. More illegal immigrants in Illinois are from either Europe (24 percent) or Asia (also 24 percent), with 11 percent coming from that most ubiquitous of locations, "other."

WLFD's Mike Flannery speculates that the racial make-up of undocumented immigrants in Illinois has shaped the debate over immigration reform here differently than it has in border states like Arizona. He notes that both of the major GOP candidates this year, Mark Kirk who is running for senate, and Bill Brady who is running for governor, both "issued bland statements" when he asked them for comment on immigration. Perhaps more telling was the in-studio interview Flannery conducted with Pedro Anaya of the Illinois Hispanic Tea Party and Democratic State Representative Susana Mendoza. By the end of the interview, Anaya and Mendoza seemed to be in agreement about reforming immigration laws in the United States.

Meanwhile, a group of 100 protesters at City Hall yesterday cheered the decision by a federal judge to block parts of Arizona's controversial new immigration law. The rally also supported a resolution introduced to the City Council this week calling for a moratorium on business with the state of Arizona and companies based there, a stronger version than a similar resolution passed in June.