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Sandoval receives international award for work on behalf of immigrants

SandovalAwardIllinois State Sen. Martin Sandoval (D-Chicago) was recently recognized by Mexico’s Congress for his work on policies that improve the quality of life of Mexican nationals in the United States.

Sandoval received the Immigrant Solidarity award from the president of the National Chamber of Deputies in Mexico City in December.

The award acknowledges people who contribute to the betterment of Mexican nationals abroad. Among those who have received this honor is former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. “I’m humbled to receive this award on behalf of my colleagues of the Illinois Senate who have fought side by side with me to improve the standard of living of the immigrant communities,” Sandoval said. “These are common sense policies that open opportunities for Mexican nationals and for all residents in the state of Illinois.”

In recent years, Illinois Senate Democrats have led state efforts to expand opportunities for minority communities and to recognize the rights of immigrants, while enhancing the quality of life of all Illinois residents.

The Senate passed Illinois’ Dream Act, which created a privately financed fund that offers scholarships to students who are beneficiaries of President Barack Obama’s executive order known as DACA. In Illinois, the dream to pursue a quality education is possible for everybody, including undocumented students.

To further expand opportunities, the Senate approved legislation to allow Dreamers with a law degree to apply for a state license to practice law. This sensible approach creates untapped opportunities for highly trained professionals who now can offer a valuable service to their communities.

Also, Illinois was in the spotlight when the Senate led efforts for a new law that allows undocumented immigrants to apply for driver’s licenses. This legislation ensures safer roads in Illinois because all drivers now must be properly trained, pass a driving test and have proof of insurance.

All of these measures grabbed not only national attention in the United States, but also in countries like Mexico.

“The award granted to Martin Sandoval, who represents the Illinois Senate, is a historical event because it strengthens the bilateral relationship between Mexico and the United States on issues like immigration,” said Deputy Gonzalo Guízar Valladares, chairman of the Immigration Affairs Committee of the Mexico’s Chamber of Deputies.

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