Expansion of Abuelitas Program announced by Sen. Mark Kirk
U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) on June 26 announced plans to expand the Abuelitas Program to Rockford, Joliet and southern Illinois.
Kirk was joined with members of his Latino Advisory Board, as well as the Medina Sandoval family who were recently reunited through the program.
“We already have a great program in Waukegan and Aurora,” Kirk said. “It is time to expand the Abuelitas Program throughout the state, so more Illinois families can be reunited.”
In December 2005, Kirk worked closely with local Mexican social clubs to establish the Abuelitas Program to assist Mexican grandmothers and grandfathers seek and obtain short-term travel visas to help them visit relatives in the U.S. The program was later expanded by Kirk later to allow other family members, such as brothers and sisters, to visit relatives in Illinois.
“I am very proud of how the Abueitas Program has expanded,” Latino Advisory Board Member Rosa Reyes-Prosen said. “I thank Sen. Kirk for being instrumental in bringing the vision to [our] families and pray for the program’s continued success.”
Since its inception, the Abuelitas Program has helped reunite over 2,500 people with their Illinois relatives of Mexican descent.