February 17th, 2009
11:01 AM ET

Rahm's immigration turnabout

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/17/art.vert.obama.jpg width=292 height=320]
Gebe Martinez

2/17 Politico: It was not so long ago that Rahm Emanuel was on the House Democratic leadership team and being accused of throwing immigrants “under the bus” for the sake of strengthening Democrats’ power in the House.

As the engineer of the Democrats’ 2007 takeover of Congress, Emanuel was viewed as stalling House consideration of broad immigration legislation, fearing that Democrats in Republican-leaning districts would become roadkill at the hands of angry voters. Even a Democratic president would have to wait until his second term to take on the issue, Emanuel once opined.

But now, as President Barack Obama’s chief of staff, Emanuel is removing roadblocks that stand in the way of some of the legislative agenda benefitting immigrants, ethnic minorities and their advocates.


Filed under: Democrats • Immigration • President Barack Obama
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Annie Kate

    We need to clean up the illegal immigrant mess – they are costing us valuable dollars in social services (money we don't have) and taking jobs from legal immigrants and citizens. Its nice they think this is such a good country to live and work in but they need to come in legally so they can stay and not be resented. In the long run illegal immigration is going to hurt us all – immigrant and citizen alike.

    February 17, 2009 at 9:25 pm |
  2. Jackie in Dallas

    DRA -PA,
    Get in car, drive north to Canada. Or get in car, drive southwest to Mexico. Third option, use some of that money hidden away in the coffee can to buy a ticket to ? Where can you go? Well, Europe is "socialistic" according to your type, so you couldn't go there. Asia doesn't want you because you won't learn their language. You won't find signs and government papers in English in Mexico, so you can't go there, and Canada is - yep - another "socialistic" country with universal health care and an open immigration policy!

    So, what do you do? Well, first, I'd suggest getting an education, including civics and social sciences. You might ought to take a course in Spanish, too, since the legal residents of this country that are of Hispanic origin are continuing their growth as executives, professionals in many fields, and may soon be your boss.

    After 8 years of a Republican run government with no transparency and that got us into an illegal war, claimed executive privileges for staff members, and wrecked our economy, you want the (bleep, bleep) out of here? Well, guess what? Noone else WANTS YOU!

    Dictatorship has specific legal meanings, and there is no way either President Obama or Emmanuel fall into that category. Careful, or someone will acquaint you with the fact that blogs are considered printed text, and lying or slandering anyone is considered libel and is legally actionable. Think they can't find out who you are? Wrong again. You can thank President Bush, and Homeland Security for that!

    In this country we allow people to disagree with their government, to express their opinions and beliefs, but we don't let them lie in such a way as to materially damage someone else's reputation. So you don't like the policies on immigration (actually, I don't either, but probably for different reasons and in different ways than you)? Write your Congressperson and Senator. Start a political action group or join one that is already out there. BE CONSTRUCTIVE! It is so easy to get onto a blog like this and spout off, and make yourself feel like you've done something. Well, you haven't. I doubt your convoluted reasoning convinced anyone who wasn't already of that belief, so all you did was rant. So you think I'm ranting too? I'm giving you some good advice, being constructive, and not calling you names, so at least I haven't sunk to your level!

    February 17, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  3. Dra -PA

    If you have not noticed, the dems want all the illegals they can get into the country ........ FOR THEIR ILLEGAL VOTES!!!!!!!

    How do you spell.....DICTATORSHIP.......It appears that this Administration wants to be just like HUGO CHAVEZ!!!!

    Where do I sign up to get the (bleep, bleep) out of the USA!

    February 17, 2009 at 3:28 pm |
  4. Mike in NYC

    @Mike, Syracuse NY:

    Good points, but the "12 million" figure is media bunk, repeated ad nauseam. The actual figure is closer to 30 million.

    February 17, 2009 at 3:17 pm |
  5. earle,florida

    Great,now I've gotta compete with an illegal for what jobs are left,...! We need ,"Term Limits", and to abolish re-districting laws ,to rid these un-american lawmakers from our congress!

    February 17, 2009 at 3:07 pm |
  6. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Martinez lost any credibilty in this article when he refered to E-Verify as 'error-ridden'. In fact of any federal program, this one probably works best. It has an 99.6% accuracy rate. If EVERY employer used it, we would have immigration reform, because only citizens or legal immigrants could get jobs. No jobs, no illegal immigration. The fact that E-Verify was removed by the Dems from the stimulus is the worst piece of legislative treason in the history of the US. We have 12 million people here illegally. They take millions of US jobs, use services, and in general are parasites on the nation. In today's economy there aren't jobs that real Americans won't do. Most will do any job instead of being unemployed. Every job held by an illegal is one more unemployed American. Obama and the Dems need to decide if Americans come first or not.

    February 17, 2009 at 2:30 pm |
  7. Joe G. (From Illinois)

    Just a little while back getting rid of your African slaves was unthinkable.. People loved their slave..! Getting rid of Illegal immigrants from Mexico today.. But among many things that would be just racist! Everybody knows about Obama’s personal, moral, religious views about Abortion, Family Morals, and plain simple respect for others. No.. No..

    February 17, 2009 at 1:18 pm |
  8. ron fisher

    OK.....it tuff times for the whole world. BUT.......do we need to absorb millions of new imigrants into the USA also? Its time for the world to start taking birth control pills, and stop using guns for birth control pills. We are over crowed now & the economy is in the toilet. How many imigrants would take more tax dollars for welfare, food stamps, housing, social security, social services........stay home an make your country better........quit running the USA to start over. We are being over taken with 3rd world imigrants and becoming a 3rd world lower case over worked former super power. Enough said......stay in your country of birth and work to make it better.......quit taking the easy way out of misery & life style.......it ain't that easy here either.

    February 17, 2009 at 1:03 pm |
  9. Mike in NYC

    No surprise here. Did anyone actually think that the Democrats would forget the debt they owe to the "New America"?

    Expect the GOP to soon begin throwing their white base under the bus as they rush to become “inclusive.”

    Demographics really is destiny.

    February 17, 2009 at 11:37 am |