78 E. Washington St.
Immigration reform promises to transform life in the Chicagoland area. For years Chicagoans hired, educated, and interacted on a daily basis with people whose legal status is uncertain. Bringing them into the system could change the city’s economy, schools, and politics as more people become able to start businesses, pursue higher education, and participate fully in civic life without fear of legal repercussions. New legislation could also help local businesses recruit and hire the workers they need. But immigration reform also poses potential challenges—from higher labor costs to increased demand for already strained public services. Can Chicago prepare to become a post-immigration-reform city—and does the 1986 amnesty hold any lessons for its future? Immigration attorney Carlina Tapia-Ruano, Northwestern University political scientist Jaime Dominguez, University of Illinois at Chicago sociologist Xóchitl Bada, and ImmigrationWorks USA president and CEO Tamar Jacoby visit Zócalo to discuss what immigration reform would mean for us all, and for Chicago’s status as Mexico’s northernmost city.
Photo courtesy of Isaac Singleton.