Dozens of people are marching 30 miles from Decatur to Taylorville trying to highlight the need for immigration reform. Speaking through a translator, undocumented immigrant Benito Gomez of McLean County says he came to the U.S. 13 years ago and GOP Congressman Rodney Davis needs to know that immigration reform would help the economy.
"As an immigrant worker today I am prone to be exploited. Most undocumented workers are not being paid fair wages or minimim wages. In raising the wage, that's something that levels the playing field for all workers."
Gomez says a the march of Illinois Public Action members from Decatur to Representative Davis's hometown of Taylorville is also a way to inspire fellow immigrants and community members to come out of the shadows.
"Our conviction is what gives us the strength to speak up even if it does mean puting outselves at risk because we believe in this so much and we need this so much."
Gomez also says immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship would allow him the security needed to start his own business and add to the economy. He could also bring his family here and stop sending money back to Mexico. Republicans like Congressman Davis have said border security provisions are not strong enough to convince them to vote yes on a compromise reform measure.
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