- Associated Press - Monday, January 27, 2014

AURORA, Ill. (AP) - Five members of Illinois’ congressional delegation have invited immigration advocates as their guests to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday in Washington.

The congressmen include Bill Foster of Aurora, Luis Gutierrez of Chicago, Mike Quigley of Chicago, Jan Schakowsky of Evanston and Brad Schneider of Lincolnshire. The guests include leaders of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference and the Fair Immigration Reform Movement. They also include Chicago Alderman Ameya Pawar, whose parents are from India.

The five congressmen said in a joint statement that their guests’ stories “illustrate the importance of immigration reform and make clear that passing comprehensive immigration reform should be at the top of Congress’ to-do list.”

Foster’s guest, Maria Torres, came to the U.S. from Mexico when she was a teenager and graduated from Northern Illinois University in 2012. She works as an immigration and outreach specialist at Family Focus Aurora.


“It’s a message that I hope the president will be presenting very strongly, the need for comprehensive immigration reform,” Foster told The Aurora Beacon-News (http://bit.ly/1dItGVt ), calling Torres a role model.

Torres said she feels privileged to go to the speech and is continuing her work in Aurora.

“It’s work and it’s hard, but I love it, love it, love it,” she said. “And then opportunities like this, they are very rewarding.”

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Information from: The Beacon-News, http://www.suburbanchicagonews.com/beaconnews