Watch CBS News

Latino Lawmakers Accuse Kirk Of 'Blind Spot' On Immigration

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Several Latino elected officials from Illinois on Thursday called on U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) to reverse his position on a bipartisan immigration reform bill now on Capitol Hill.

WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports state Rep. Cynthia Soto (D-Chicago), who chairs the Legislative Latino Caucus, said the lawmakers don't know what to make of Kirk's recent actions. They pointed to his vote against further debate of a landmark immigration measure earlier this week, and the idea he suggested last month for the feds to arrest 18,000 members of the Gangster Disciples street gang.

"Mark Kirk's racial blind spot to the pain of the Black and Latino communities is evidenced by his ill-thought-out proposal to lock up 18,000 mainly black youth," Soto said. "And his vote for a filibuster to block the consideration of immigration reform is deeply troubling."

The group of Latino politicians pleaded with Kirk to support the immigration reform bill, and the people whose lives would be torn apart under current immigration policies.

Cook County Commissioner Jesus Garcia (D-7th) said they know Kirk, deep down, is a decent man, but they said he's on the wrong side of the immigration issue.

"We believe that there is a strong streak of decency in him. We would ask him to revisit that aspect of his humanity, but to also be practical about the future of the country,"

Kirk has said he wants more language strengthening border security, but Ald. Danny Solis (25th) said lawmakers in border states have said enough money is being spent on that.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.