Arturo Zendeja speaks with a customer at his restaurant in July at his restaurant, El Taco Tako, 202 S. Chestnut St., Arcola, Ill. Zendeja and his wife, Maria, moved to Arcola 12 years ago. Arturo is a native of Cadereyta Jimenez in Mexico. They are part of a growing Latino population in the area, which is known for its broomcorn.

Weekly RoundUp: Immigration

The C-U Immigration Forum organized a candelight vigil and march in Champaign, Ill. this week to show support for Comprehensive Immigration Reform. On Wednesday, April 10, 2013, over two dozen local organizations and congregations planned to take part in the “Light the Pathway to Citizenship – Don’t Block It” event. This is just one of several events going on across the country, including in the nation’s capital. Here is a look at some recent reports about the national march and the issues surrounding immigration reform.

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CU-CitizenAccess receives national award for project highlighting racial issues in Central Illinois

CU-CitizenAccess.org has won a national investigative journalism award for its collaborative project with Hoy Chicago looking at changing demographics and racial issues in Central Illinois. Investigative Reporters and Editors, a 4,000 member organization, gave the small multi-platform award to CU-CitizenAccess and Hoy Chicago for the project called Midwest Chronicles. The project took a deep look at the demographic shift across 16 counties in Central Illinois, including stories on racial issues and data analysis of crime statistics. The project included presentations in video, audio, and text on the organizations’ Web sites and a 16 page supplement published in editions of the News-Gazette and Hoy Chicago last fall. CU-CitizenAccess contributors named in the award were Brant Houston, Professor and Knight Chair in Investigative Journalism in the College of Media at the University of Illinois and Pam Dempsey, the CU-CitizenAccess project coordinator.

This dot-density map shows the demographic changes across a 16-county region in Central Illinois. It was designed by Jeff Kelly Lowenstein, Alex Bordens and Kyle Bentle from the Chicago Tribune and Hoy Chicago. It netted a Society of News Design award this year.

CU-CitizenAccess, Hoy Chicago net awards

Our collaborative work with Hoy Chicago in last year’s Midwest Chronicles gained high honors recently. The project took a look at the deep demographic shift in Central Illinois communities. It was a bilingual publication printed in both Spanish and English and distributed in The News-Gazette and throughout Chicago through Hoy Chicago as well as online. Hoy Chicago is a daily Spanish newspaper based in Chicago. Reporters and editors from Hoy Chicago, CU-CitizenAccess.org as well as WILL Public Radio and journalism students from the University of Illinois spent more than six months analyzing data and interviewing residents in communities across a 16-county area.

Arturo Zendeja speaks with a customer at his restaurant in July at his restaurant, El Taco Tako, 202 S. Chestnut St., Arcola, Ill. Zendeja and his wife, Maria, moved to Arcola 12 years ago. Arturo is a native of Cadereyta Jimenez in Mexico. They are part of a growing Latino population in the area, which is known for its broomcorn.

Weekly RoundUp: Immigration

A delegation of immigration experts from Russia are scheduled to visit Champaign-Urbana this week through the US-Russia Civil Society Partnership Program. They are guests of Chicago Mayor Rahm Immanual and will be visiting a local jail, an immigration detention center and federal and county courts. Their trip to Champaign-Urbana will include a tour of how the Midwest handles the reception, integration and detention of immigrants. As the immigration debate swirls on, here’s a look at what others are saying this week about the issue:

Another side of illegal immigration – LA Times

“Unlike their parents, who generally remain silent and live in fear and shame, young Asians and Pacific Islanders are joining to advocate immigration reform.” In immigration fight, farm visas provide opening – USA Today

“Farmers need more workers to harvest crops but say H2A visas that could help them are tangled in red tape.

A list of acceptable documents needed to get a driver's license under current state law.

Driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants debated

By Sean Powers/Illinois Public Media — There are only a handful of places that Urbana resident Marcela Guillen will drive to – the fast-food restaurant where she works, to buy groceries and to take her two children to the doctor. “I would really like to go to other places but I can’t because I don’t have a driver’s license,” Guillen said through an interpreter. Using a bus is problematic because of the time it takes to commute to her job or to the grocery store. Guillen is one of thousands of undocumented residents in the state without a driver’s license, but an effort to amend the Illinois Vehicle Code may change that. The measure, which may come up as early as Tuesday, Nov.