Immigration Reform Advocates Ask Rahm to Stay in Washington

By Kevin Robinson in News on Sep 30, 2010 2:40PM

Another day, another Rahm Emanuel-related news item. While Rahm is widely expected to announce his candidacy this Friday, a group of Chicagoans are asking Rahm not to leave D.C.: immigration reform advocates. Maria Pesqueira, president of Mujeres Latinas en Acción, has asked Illinois Senator Dick Durbin and Chicago congressman Luis Gutierrez, both Democrats, to ask Emanuel to stay in Washington until immigration reform has become law.

Immigration-rights activists used an event in Pilsen supporting the DREAM Act and Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias to send a message to Emanuel that if he wants the support of Chicago's immigrant community in the upcoming mayoral race, he needs to support a path to citizenship for people that are already in this country. “It’s a relief,” Cindy Agustin, a senior at the University of Chicago, told Medill of Giannoulias's support for immigration reform.“At this point we just want a candidate who says, ‘Yes, I’m for immigration.” The DREAM Act provides for temporary residency and a path to citizenship for children of undocumented immigrants that are enrolled in college or enlisted in the U.S. military.

Giannoulias has said that he supports the DREAM Act, which Durbin has co-sponsored in the United States Senate. Mark Kirk, who is also running for senate on the GOP ticket, was more opaque about his support for immigration reform. “Until we control our border, hold employers accountable and properly engage Mexico, no immigration reforms will work,” a Kirk spokesperson told Medill.