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  • 13

    Chicago: Immigrants Get Promise of Reforms
    Immigration; Posted on: 2007-04-16 10:48:44 [ Printer friendly / Instant flyer ]
    Bill will pass, Emanuel tells rally

    By Emma Graves Fitzsimmons
    Tribune staff reporter

    A reform bill to legalize millions of immigrants will pass Congress this year, Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.) promised more than 1,500 cheering people at a Saturday rally in his Chicago district.

    "The Democratic leadership is committed to this," Emanuel said. "This will be the year we get this done."

    Activists and immigrants, including a Mexican factory worker caught in a February raid and a Polish small-business owner whose wife faces deportation, joined the latest call for reform that picked up on the momentum generated by several large marches in Chicago last year.

    Support was strong for a House bill filed in March by Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) that would allow most immigrants to stay in the country. He and Emanuel listened to the stories of several who have suffered under current law and promised to share them with other members of Congress.

    It's part of putting a face on the struggles of an estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States.

    "I came here this afternoon to fill my heart and soul with more energy," Gutierrez said.

    Gutierrez is traveling across the country to drum up support for the bill, which would allow immigrants who arrived before June of last year to stay in the country if they pay a $500 fine, pass background checks and prove employment. After six years, immigrants could become permanent residents if they pay $1,500, learn English and have not committed a crime. The bill also would allow as many as 400,000 guest workers to enter the job market.


    Interestingly for someone so apparently open-minded about immigration, Rahm Emanuel's own father, Benjamin M. Emanuel, is a veteran of the Irgun, the super-radical Zionist paramilitary gang classified as terrorists by the British for their anti-Palestinian ethnic cleansing and other violence before the establishment of the State of Israel. The Emanuels were orginally the Auerbachs, until uncle Emanuel Auerbach was killed in a Jerusalem shootout with Palestinians in 1933, at which point the family changed their surname in his honor. We wonder how either Benjamin or Rahm Emanuel would feel about Israel granting "amnesty" to the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians and their descendants driven out of their homeland by the Irgun. Presently such people are not allowed back to the property they lost to the nascent Jewish state. However, perhaps Rahm was influenced by his mother. Martha Smulevitz was a "civil rights" activist who dragged her sons to pro-integration events (in Chicago, not Tel Aviv).
    News Source: Chicago Tribune


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