CHICAGO (WLS) --The debate over immigration reform is heating up as President Obama is asking Congress for nearly $4 billion to deal with children who are fleeing Central America and illegally crossing the U.S. border.
U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) is renewing his call on the president to stop what he calls a deportation crisis.
"We say to the president of the U.S., you said last week that we were right, that the negotiations have failed. Issue the executive orders immediately," said Congressman Gutierrez.
Josefa Gonzalez is the partner of Wilson Gomez-Pu, who has spent ten months in the McHenry Detention Center because he is undocumented. He is the breadwinner of the family, and Gonzalez says bills are piling up. She has even stopped taking diabetes medicine so she can to feed her family.
"My children ask for their father and I do not have words to explain when he will return...The first days after he was detained by Immigration, my child would ask me at night, 'When will my father come home?' And I did not have an answer. The worries for my children are weighing heavy on me," said Gonzalez, through translator Carlos Rosa.
Agustin Corona has been in this country for 20 years and has two daughters who are U.S. citizens. This year, he bought a home and is now scheduled to be deported.
"On July 31, I will present myself to immigration and ask them to stop my deportation," said Corona.
"President Obama, you promised us you are going to take action at the end of the summer. Go big. Do as much as you can to help and protect these families from deportation," said Carlos Rosa, the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights. "President Obama has deported 2 million people, more than any other president in the history of the United States. That means that we as a community of immigrants are suffering. Every single day 1,100 people are deported."
The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights says in Illinois, about half a million people are undocumented and about 50,000 children have lost their parents to deportation.
However, opponents to immigration reform are concerned about the quick pathway to citizenship that would be granted to many who are undocumented.