Del Valle attacks Emanuel's record on immigration

November 29, 2010 3:53:01 PM PST
As some of the candidates in the race for Chicago mayor hit the campaign trail Monday, immigration reform took center stage.

Gery Chico and Miguel del Valle appeared together to push for the passage of the Dream Act. Del Valle used the opportunity to accuse Rahm Emanuel of not doing enough for immigration reform.

Chico is calling for Congress to pass the Dream Act, a bill allowing undocumented youth a chanced for citizenship if they go to college or serve in the military.

"This just does not affect just Latinos. It affects Asians, it affects Europeans, it affects people from around the world," said Chico.

While Chico stayed positive, mayoral candidate Miguel del Valle wasted no time accusing Rahm Emanuel of blocking immigration reform as a congressman and as President Obama's chief of staff.

"Rahm Emanuel had the opportunity to act and he didn't have the courage to act. Quite the opposite. He advised his colleagues not to act," said Del Valle.

The Emanuel campaign calls Del Valle's statement misinformed, saying Emanuel has a record of immigration reform. And when it comes to getting the Dream Act passed, Emanuel says he has already thrown his Washington weight around.

"I have always supported the Dream Act, and going into it, i called the Senate majority leader last week, Harry Reid, and talked to him about it and said if there are calls I could make with senators, let me know," said Emanuel.

Emanuel made his comments at the Chicago Paper Tube and Can company. The small business is the subject of Emanuel's second television ad, which began running Monday. With deep campaign pockets, so far, he is the only mayoral candidate to be running TV ads.

Meanwhile, Emanuel answered a limited number of reporters' questions following a tour of the small Chicago business.

Touring the Northwest Side paper company he credits himself with saving, Emanuel spent his 51st birthday once again defending his residency and explaining his pedigree. The Chicago Board of Elections has now received multiple residency challenges against Emanuel.

The mayoral candidate says where he lives is only an issue with his foes, not the voters.

"They know in the city of Chicago the basic tricks and games that go on, and they also know that those types of games and tricks basically divert you from dealing with the major issues," said Emanuel.

Call it a game or coincidence: The Chicago Sun-Times is reporting a link between Emanuel's tenant, Rob Halpin, who is running for mayor, and Rev. James Meeks. Both campaigns paid the same homeless man to collect signatures.

A spokesman for Meeks says, "There is no connection between us and the Rob Halpin campaign." The Meeks campaign says it had over 600 people gathering signatures. Fewer than 20 were paid.

Rev. Meeks has kept a low campaign profile since he announced. His campaign says the state senator is in Springfield.


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