Logan Square Chamber hears Guitierrez prediction and honors local businesses


Congressman Guitierrez

Logan Square Chamber of Commerce (LSCC) had a full agenda at their Annual Meeting at Boustan, 2529 N. Milwaukee Ave, on May 19, including Congressman Luis Guitierrez, who animatedly predicted ,"I believe that we will pass immigration reform this year, one way or another." 

LSCC Executive Director Paul Levin's introduction of the Congressman included the fact that they had something in common. Their careers pathes included a very difficult job about which most people are unaware. That of a cab driver. Guitierrez confirmed that. 

In explaining about comprehensive immigration reform, he said "It is only a very small group of people who are against it. If it gets on the floor of the House, it will pass. 

"Where else can you have a majority of people, 218 [435 total Congressional  voting members], who support something and you can't get a vote," he queried. 

He pointed out that when [Republican] Paul Ryan was in Chicago last year, he expressed his support for comprehensive immigration reform. Even Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives John Boehner [Republican], in his home state of Ohio, recently said, "We can pass it, if Republicans stop crying about it." 

Guitierrez, himself, was arrested in front of the White House in 2010, protesting the Arizona immigration law. 

He went on to give statement after statement about how it is unfair for four to five million American citizen children to be in fear of their parents being deported, as they see friends no longer in their classrooms because their parents were. It effects how well they do in school as well as other things, he pointed out.


Chamber members enjoy lunch as the Congressman talks

"This is not fair to our economy either. The system is broken and it is time to fix it. Who opens new stores on Milwaukee Ave," he queried. "New comers!   Of the new, not renewal, business licenses in Chicago, 50% are immigrants…Mexico buys more U.S. exports than any other country…They say Mexicans are lazy! They don't have one job in this country…they have multiples! 

"Both the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times editorial page are for it. If we can't get it passed then President Obama must use his pen. We are not talking about criminals." Regardless of country of origin, he believes that Obama must take broad action to protect the undocumented until the Congress can pass the bill. "It is called prosecutorial discretion. He did that with 600 kids who are walking around America with work permits because he signed an Executive Order." 

For the undocumented who may be deported now, "It is not giving citizenship or legalizing their status but temporarily giving them a work permit and a social security card." He reports that Obama's position has changed somewhat in that he now has Homeland Security working on the issue. Though Guitierrez also pointed out that Homeland Security should be working on other issues to secure the country. 


Mario Correa, Kevin Womac and Paul Levin

Chamber Awards
Three awards were given to local businesses. Awards were given to Hachi's Kitchen for the Established Business of the Year Award; Fat Rice for New Business of the Year; and Boulevard Bikes for Green Business of the Year. 

Chamber Board
Mario Correa, President, LSCC, called for a vote on adding five members to the Board of Directors for two year terms. Those elected are: Robert Ashmore, Roadiecab; Christen Carter, Busy Beaver Button Co.; Alberto Rasmos, American Family Insurance; Carmen Torres, Wintrust Logan Square; and Kevin Womac, Boulevard Bikes. They join four other members serving for 2015 who are: Alan Castro, Wintrust mortgage; Marsha Erenberg, Windy City Management; Earle Johnson, Quencher's Saloon; and Earle Johnson, Sokol Group.



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