Lipinski holds town hall meeting in Lockport
By Cindy Wojdyla Cain firstname.lastname@example.org February 9, 2013 3:50PM
U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-3rd) talks with City Clerk Alice Matteucci after a town hall meeting Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013, in Lockport, Ill. | Cindy Wojdyla Cain~Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 11, 2013 6:55AM
LOCKPORT — U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-3rd, said Saturday that while there may be a big push in Congress to pass immigration reform, he does not see any movement on banning assault weapons.
Lipinski said he is opposed to a general amnesty for illegal immigrants but he’d be more inclined to vote for reform measures if birthright citizenship laws are changed. At least one parent should be a legal immigrant before babies born in the United States are granted automatic citizenship, he said.
Lipinski, D-Western Springs, said he also would support allowing illegal immigrants to stay in this country if they can prove they’ve held jobs for five years or so. But that doesn’t necessarily mean granting them a pathway to citizenship, he added.
Lipinski made his remarks during his first town hall meeting in Lockport, one of several northern Will County municipalities he inherited when congressional districts were redrawn after the 2010 Census.
About 50 people filled the third-floor city council chambers in the Lockport Central Square building to meet Lipinski and ask him questions during the 90-minute session.
Lipinski, who won a fifth term in the November election, said he opposes banning any guns, even assault weapons, which drew applause from the crowd. Instead, Lipinski said he favors beefing up background checks and increasing penalties on gun trafficking.
Also Saturday, Lipinski said he believes religious institutions should not be forced to provide contraceptive coverage to employees and that pension funding requirements should be reduced to help make the U.S. Postal Service more viable.
Lockport resident Bill Jackson, who is president of the National Association of Letter Carriers union based in Downers Grove, was happy to hear Lipinski’s support of the postal service, which is in financial trouble and may end Saturday mail service.
“He’s not going to take one side over the other unless he does his homework,” Jackson said.
Lockport City Clerk Alice Matteucci, who is on the St. Dennis School board, was impressed with Lipinski’s comments on allowing religious institutions to opt out of contraceptive coverage for employees.
“I think that’s fantastic,” she said. “He has high moral standards.”
Donald Lazarz of Lockport said he liked the fact that Lipinski is in favor of cutting the federal budget, not just raising revenues to reduce the country’s $16.4 trillion deficit.
“You can’t have one without the other,” Lazarz said.
Lipinski promised to help attendees with a wide variety of issues including pollution, pipelines and public transportation.
He encouraged people to sign up for his e-newsletter by visiting his website, www.lipinski.house.gov. And he announced that he has a new Lockport office in Room 109 of the Central Square Building at 222 E. Ninth St.