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posted: 4/1/2013 4:33 PM

Illinois businesses push immigration reform

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  • Caterpillar CEO Doug Olberhelman speaks at an event of The Illinois Business Immigration Coalition Monday in Chicago. The new group of business leaders wants to recruit 300 CEOs and 1,000 small businesses in Illinois to push for "common sense" bipartisan immigration reform.

      Caterpillar CEO Doug Olberhelman speaks at an event of The Illinois Business Immigration Coalition Monday in Chicago. The new group of business leaders wants to recruit 300 CEOs and 1,000 small businesses in Illinois to push for "common sense" bipartisan immigration reform.
    ASSOCIATED PRESS

 

CHICAGO -- A new group of business leaders wants to recruit 300 CEOs and 1,000 small businesses in Illinois to push for "common sense" bipartisan immigration reform.

The Illinois Business Immigration Coalition includes leaders from Peoria-based Caterpillar Inc. as well as Motorola Solutions Inc., the University of Illinois, trade groups and immigration-rights advocates. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel backs the coalition.

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Caterpillar CEO Doug Olberhelman spoke at a kickoff event Monday in Chicago. He says the manufacturer has trouble filling both high- and lower-skill jobs and immigration reform could help.

The coalition is forming as lawmakers in Washington get ready to hammer out details of a potential immigration law overhaul. Business and labor leaders last week agreed on broad outline.

Emanuel says it's "a huge opportunity" that shouldn't be squandered "because of politics."

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