CHICAGO – The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) will deliver more than 26,000 voter registrations to Cook County Clerk David Orr on the eve of the presidential debate to remind both candidates that comprehensive immigration reform needs to be a top priority during their administration.
ICIRR’s New Americans Democracy Project (NADP) has registered the new immigrant voters and so far has contacted 159,885 people who were either non-voters or infrequent voters previously.
The democracy project will continue to work through the election in immigrant neighborhoods in Chicago and its suburbs contacting Latino, Asian, Arab, Polish and other diverse communities. ICIRR and its partner organizations have trained and supervised 20 NADP fellows who are working six days a week door knocking, recruiting volunteers, and talking to immigrants about the importance of voting.
According to a study released October 1 by the Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration Illinois “New Americans” — naturalized citizens — make up 4.3% of the voting age citizen population are newly naturalized (since 2000).
Additionally, ICIRR will announce their non-partisan campaign “March to the Polls” this election and urge them to register before October 9 deadline. Illinois has proven repeatedly that when only when immigrant voters show their strength, will lawmakers will take seriously on the necessity of policies that welcome immigrants and bring the community together.