12:00 AM, December 08, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, December 08, 2008

Hispanic leaders urge Obama to tackle immigration reform

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Afp, Chicago

Hispanic leaders urged president-elect Barack Obama to issue a moratorium on immigration raids and deportations at a rally in Chicago Saturday.
"President-elect Barack Obama knows the immigration system is broken and we understand and believe he wants to fix it," said US Representative Luis Gutierrez.
"We're ready to create the political support, the grassroots support that (Obama) needs."
Despite the challenges he faces in dealing with two wars and an economic crisis, it appears as though Obama considers immigration reform a priority, Gutierrez said.
Gutierrez has spoken to Obama's chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, four times in the past two weeks and will be meeting with Obama in the coming days to discuss the issue.
"We believe that as we go to the American people and we shatter the myths about our broken immigration system that one of the most powerful symbols we have is the sanctity of marriage ... and that government should not be destroying families" separating family members with deportations, Gutierrez said.

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