La Raza opens conference in Chicago

July 25, 2009 3:34:50 PM PDT
The nation's largest Latino civil rights and advocacy organization opened a four-day conference Saturday in Chicago.Mariachi music filled McCormick Place West for the gathering of the National Council of La Raza. The group plans to focus on issues, initiatives, and programs that make a positive impact on the lives of Latino families, including the economy, health, housing, and education.

ABC7 Chicago reporter Theresa Gutierrez was given the honor of being emcee of the conference. Saturday, she introduced the U.S. Senate's Assistant Majority Leader and Illinois Democrat Dick Durbin.

"It is time for us to pass comprehensive immigration reform in the United States of America," said Durbin. "We are never going to deport 12 million people from America. These are people who make this country great, and need to be part of our future."

Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, also spoke Saturday. She said the foundation and La Raza are partners in the fight to improve and reform education.


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