Comprehensive immigration reform can’t come to Cook County soon enough.
Momentum in Washington appears to be on the side of reform. The Senate Judiciary Committee has quickly marked up the 844-page bill and may vote on it as soon as Wednesday.
And by early June the full Senate is expected to take up the legislation, the most ambitious overhaul of the immigration system in a generation.
What happens in Congress will have implications in Cook County, saving taxpayers money and providing better health care to our residents.
By our estimates there are as many as 200,000 undocumented immigrants in Cook County without health insurance. Based on income levels, approximately 80 percent of those uninsured individuals would qualify for assistance in the state health-care exchanges if they had citizenship or legal immigrant status — which the bill being debated would grant them, according to the Congressional Research Service.