Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Emanuel making a flip; he wants to be on proper side of immigration brawl

Immigration reform is going to be an ugly fight when it finally comes up in Congress.
EMANUEL: A change of heart

There are going to be some political people whose preferences are to back the ideologues who want to view the issue as one where the only changes needed are more deportations. They’re not going to give in on their views – no matter what evidence is brought to the contrary.

TAKE INTO ACCOUNT the fact that the Illinois Legislature is likely in the near future to consider measures that would revamp state policies concerning non-citizens being able to get valid driver’s licenses.

The ideologues already are spewing their venom – and trying to bash the few GOP political people who have come out in favor of the idea.

But the fact is that these ideologues were always a tiny minority of our society – but a tiny group that too many people were willing to give undeserved credibility to.

Now, we’re starting to acknowledge that fact and are seeing that those loud-mouthed individuals should not be dictating policy to the rest of us – particularly since many of their preferred “policies” would actually wind up holding us back as a society.

SO LET ME state up front that I’m pleased to learn that Rahm Emanuel, of all people, is among the people who has “seen the light,” so to speak. Maybe not as dramatically as actor John Belushi’s “Jake Blues” character in “The Blues Brothers,” but it’s still something!

The Chicago Sun-Times reported about the swearing-in ceremony held Tuesday in the council chambers of City Hall, in which a whole lot of newly-minted U.S. citizens got to hear Emanuel offer his praise for Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., who used to go about bashing Emanuel for not doing enough to support immigration reform measures.
GUTIERREZ: Can he score the 'touchdown'

“The rest of America has caught up with Luis Gutierrez,” said Emanuel, who when he was chief of staff to President Barack Obama was the one who kept the issue on the political backburner – figuring that bringing up immigration would tick off so many people that they’d dump all over anything else Obama tried to pass.

Such as health care reform!

OF COURSE, THE reality of the situation is that Obama’s opponents were determined to oppose anything he tried to do – so that stalling immigration reform really did nothing more than make some Latinos question whether or not Obama was sincere with his supportive rhetoric.

Seeing that Emanuel is now willing to say the issue is “on the 10-yard line” and could be close to being approved could well mean his political mean-streak could now be turned on those  ideologues who are determined to go down with the ship, so to speak, on this issue.

Perhaps the Emanuel change in attitude is due to his return to Chicago – following his couple of years of living in Washington.

The thing about Chicago’s character is that it has such an ethnic character, and the ethnicity isn’t limited to a few. Just about every ethnic group can be found in some numbers in this city.

JUST ABOUT EVERY Chicagoan is aware of what they are and where on Planet Earth their families came from – unlike some municipalities where everybody seems to have morphed into some sort of generic white person.

In such a place, immigration reform is going to be taken seriously because there will be the significant numbers of individuals who will be directly impacted.

Which makes me think we are a step closer to reform – provided we keep in mind that those ideologues who will “never” give in will turn up the volume with each and every action.

And we should realize that “loud” does not automatically mean “legitimate.”


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