Photo: Rahm Emanuel
White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel has been strongly criticized for his lack of support of the DREAM Act when he was in Washington. Now that Rahm is running for the job as Chicago’s mayor, he is out to change that perception.
The Chicago for Rahm campaign issued a press release Thursday evening touting Emanuel’s plan for immigration reform…in Chicago.
“Just because Congress has yet to pass the Dream Act doesn’t mean we will wait for progress in Chicago,” Emanuel said in a statement. “All children in Chicago deserve to have access to a quality education, and we will make sure they have that opportunity.”
Emanuel’s plan can not provide a path to citizenship as a national DREAM Act would, but would “allow these children to access the same financial aid opportunities as every other child,” according to his campaign.
“The number one prohibitive reason people don’t go to college is cost,” Emanuel said in an interview with Telemundo Chicago. “So I want to take a part of the DREAM Act, which Sen. (Richard) Durbin introduced, and make Chicago the first city in the country to adopt a Chicago DREAM Act.”
Those eligible would be able to receive student loans to both community colleges and four-year universities at a low interest rate, Emanuel told Telemundo. His plan is to raise $5 million from “business and civic leaders” to pay for the loans.
Several of the other Chicago mayoral candidates were quick to criticize the plan and accuse Rahm of pandering.