By Sal J. Barry
The recent government shutdown has stalled, among other things, immigration reform in the United States. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel supports immigration reform. “If you are pro-small business, you have to be pro-immigrant,” Emmanuel told the Chicago Tribune earlier this month, noting that half of Chicago’s recent businesses were started by immigrants.
Clearly, Emmanuel is thinking of his constituents here. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, roughly 29% of Chicago’s population identifies as Hispanic or Latino (778,862 out of 2,695,589 respondents). In a recent poll reported by the L.A. Times, 54% of Hispanics polled said that they were “less likely to support” a candidate who didn’t support an immigration reform bill.
A similar consensus is probable in Chicago, where most of the illegal immigrants are Hispanic. Mayor Emmanuel won the mayoral election with 55% of the vote. How he deals with immigration as it becomes more and more of a hot-button topic can have a great effect on his bid for re-election.