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Emanuel Cautions Trump on Immigration

The Chicago mayor and president-elect discussed immigration, education and White House ops

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel speaks to the media after meeting with President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower on Wednesday. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel speaks to the media after meeting with President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower on Wednesday. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel met with Donald Trump in New York City Wednesday morning, speaking briefly about White House operations and beseeching the president-elect to reconsider his hard-line stance on immigration.

The meeting was the result of a post-election phone call in which Trump extended Emanuel an invitation to meet next time both men were on the East Coast, an Emanuel spokesman said. 

Emanuel, a former White House chief of staff under President Barack Obama, told reporters the meeting was productive, and focused chiefly on immigration.

“I delivered to the president-elect, his senior adviser and his chief of staff a letter signed by 14 mayors put together from across the country about DAPA students,” Emanuel said, later adding, “We are clear as mayors that these are DREAMers who are seeking the American Dream, and we should embrace them rather than do a bait-and-switch.”

Chicago and its surrounding collar counties are home to large numbers of undocumented immigrants, but its designation as a sanctuary city prohibits law enforcement from asking about a resident’s immigration status, according to the Chicago Tribune. 

Emanuel, along with other Democratic lawmakers and mayors, like New York’s Bill de Blasio, have urged Trump to reconsider his campaign promises to deport millions of people. 

Trump and Emanuel have some history. 

The president-elect donated $50,000 to Emanuel’s maiden mayoral campaign in 2011, Trump’s largest political contribution apart from his own presidential campaign. 

In addition, the mayor’s younger brother, talent agency boss Ari Emanuel, is an old friend of the reality star. Ari reportedly once represented the real estate mogul and the two played golf at Trump’s course in New Jersey last month.

According to the pool report, Rahm Emanuel also told reporters he spoke with the president-elect about the proposed infrastructure stimulus. If Chicago “runs on roads, rails, or runways, that investment brings an economic engine to the city,” Emanuel said. 

Trump has a shaky reputation in Chicago, a democratic stronghold where a gleaming, riverside skyscraper bears his family name. 

During the presidential campaign, then-candidate Trump abruptly cancelled a rally at the University of Illinois’ Chicago campus, citing safety concerns after hundreds showed up to protest his appearance. 

Additionally, one of Trump’s favorite taglines in debates against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was to point out the high levels of violent crime in Chicago this year, likening the country’s third largest city to a war zone. 

Trump had reportedly planned on visiting Chicago sometime this week, but cancelled the trip at the last minute without explanation.

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