Emanuel meets with Trump in New York City

Karen Jordan Image
Wednesday, December 7, 2016
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Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel met with President-elect Donald Trump Wednesday in New York City.

NEW YORK (WLS) -- Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel met with President-elect Donald Trump Wednesday in New York City.

He said Trump asked for the meeting when the two had a phone conversation a few weeks ago, when they talked his White House transition. Emanuel was President Barack Obama's chief of staff and also worked in the Clinton administration.

The mayor said they also talked about the growth of Chicago's community colleges and the gains made by students in Chicago Public Schools.

"We're one of only three school districts in the entire United States whose 4th and 8th graders' math and reading went up," Emanuel said.

Emanuel also said Chicago would remain a sanctuary city, despite Trump's promise to withhold federal funds from cities that protect undocumented immigrants from deportation.

"They are trying to achieve the American Dream. No fault of their own, their parents came here. They are something we should hold up and embrace," Emanuel said.

The mayor's office tweeted Wednesday a copy of a letter he hand-delivered to the Trump, urging the president-elect to continue DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, program.

It ensures immigrants who came to the U.S. before the age of 16, and are currently involved in higher education or military service, will not be deported.

That letter was signed by about 14 mayors of cities across the country, including St. Louis, Phoenix, Philadelphia and San Francisco.

The president-elect had not yet responded to the tweet as of 11 a.m. Wednesday.

The meeting took place on the same day Trump was named Time magazine's Person of the Year. The cover declared him the "President of the Divided States of America."

In his Time interview, the president-elect appeared to soften his stance, saying: "We're going to work something out that's going to make people happy and proud."

"You can't threaten to deport people and uproot them from the only home they've ever known and then go back (and) say well maybe we'll look at this," Rep. Mike Quigley, D-Chicago.

Via Skype, Quigley said he and 64 other Democrats want President Obama to consider pardons for dreamers to protect against any attempt by Trump to deport them.

"At this point we think this is as far as we can go and as far as the outgoing President can go," Quigley said.

Emanuel did not take questions after his four-minute long statement on behalf of sanctuary cities which also include New York and Los Angeles.

The appearance marked a return to the national spotlight for Chicago's mayor, who has kept a lower profile since the Laquan McDonald controversy erupted just over a year ago.

Retired Marine General James Mattis, the president-elect's choice to lead the Pentagon, joined Trump on his victory lap Tuesday night.

"A man of this character and integrity will now be the civilian leader atop the Department of Defense," Trump said.

Is it too soon to talk about 2020? Vice President Joe Biden received a lot of questions after indicating this week he would consider a run for the White House.

On "The Late Show" with Stephen Colbert Tuesday night, Biden again refused to completely rule out a bid:

"Never say never. You don't know what's going to happen. I mean hell, Donald Trump's going to be 74. I'll be 77. In better shape. I mean, what the hell? Who knows?" Biden said.