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Curran, Madigan reach out to Latinos

Monday, May 2, 2011

* The Lake County Sheriff has long been a lightning rod on the immigration issue. For instance, here’s a story from 2008

Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran on Thursday released the results of an audit that showed a fifth of his jail population is undocumented and pressed for the power to deport them.

In the process, he took shots at Cook County, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and politicians in Springfield and Washington for not doing the same.

“The city of Chicago as well as the state of Illinois have shown little interest in cooperating with ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement],” Curran said. Later, he added: “Throw the bums out of Springfield and Washington but treat the illegal immigrants with love and respect.”

* No more, however. Curran has now switched sides

A churchful of activists seeking state laws to protect undocumented immigrants got a boost from an unlikely source Saturday when Republican Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran told them he had seen the errors of his former pro-deportation stand.

“I was on the other side of this issue, so in essence, a persecutor at one time,” Curran told thousands of activists at St. Nicholas of Tolentine Church in West Lawn, standing with House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton.

“I cannot think, in good conscience, that breaking up families is something that God is going to look favorably upon in America if we continue to go down that route,” he said as protestors erupted in applause. “My confirmation name as a Catholic is Paul. St. Paul was a persecutor at one point. There was a conversion story. We can stop this silliness of deporting people, breaking up families, and then claiming that we’re ‘pro-family.’ ”

* And even Speaker Madigan got into the act

The event was held in the home turf of Madigan, who years ago refused to meet with some of these activists.

But on Saturday, Madigan told them he was on-board with their main requests, and they in turn praised him for his support and help in killing 14 “anti-immigrant” bills that have come up in the state legislature.

“We know that if we work together there will be a fair remap for the state of Illinois and we know that if we work together there will be an Illinois Dream Act,” the Speaker of the House said to raucous cheers.

“Everybody in America came from somewhere else. My family came from Ireland many, many years ago,”

He and Cullerton gave favorable forecasts for passage of the state’s Dream Act, which would create a commission funneling private scholarships to children of undocumented immigrants who were educated here. Efforts for a similar federal law, giving citizenship to foreign-born students who attend college or serve in the military, have failed.

* Check out Madigan’s speech

Madigan Speaking at ICIRR New American’s Rally from ICIRR on Vimeo.

Madigan’s ward is seriously Latino these days and so is his House district. So, it makes sense for him to reach out to those he formerly snubbed. As the video shows, the crowd ate it up.

* Related…

* State leaders urge fair treatment of immigrants

* Rallying for DREAM Act, immigration reforms

* Immigration activists to march, though in smaller numbers - Frustrated with lack of progress at federal level, protesters focus on state bills

* VIDEO: Senate President Cullerton Speaking at ICIRR New Americans Rally

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - DMAC57 - Monday, May 2, 11 @ 6:55 am:

    The Tea Party will not be happy with this one! Curran’s views change like the prevailing winds.

  2. - Wensicia - Monday, May 2, 11 @ 6:59 am:

    With the Hispanic population in Lake County exploding, I’m not surprised by Curran’s switch. After all, he’s famous for switching parties when it’s to his political advantage.

  3. - wordslinger - Monday, May 2, 11 @ 7:07 am:

    –“I cannot think, in good conscience, that breaking up families is something that God is going to look favorably upon in America if we continue to go down that route,” he said as protestors erupted in applause. “My confirmation name as a Catholic is Paul. St. Paul was a persecutor at one point.–

    I’m guessing Sheriff (Saint?) Curran’s Road to Damascus conversion came after some careful study of Lake County census info.

  4. - siriusly - Monday, May 2, 11 @ 8:27 am:

    Changing course is how Curran operates. Ran as Democrat in 2006 and switched parties 18 months later.

    Next I suppose he’ll announce he’s not 100 percent pro-life anymore. Or maybe he’ll wait on that conversion until after the IL AG primary field in 2014 is set.

  5. - winco - Monday, May 2, 11 @ 8:51 am:

    if the Sheriff is St. Paul, I assume it goes without saying that Madigan is J.C.?

  6. - Native - Monday, May 2, 11 @ 9:14 am:

    Madigan - “Everybody in America came from somewhere else.”

    Well, not everyone. Some were here first, but got rounded up and put in concentration camps and were subjected to genocide.

  7. - Checkers Nixon - Monday, May 2, 11 @ 9:16 am:

    Madigan and Curran have sniffed the political winds and they know that they are both in trouble in 2012. They need to reach out and make new friends with as many Latino voters as they can between now and election time in order to survive.
    Soon, they will be buying tequilla and Coronas for everybody at the local taverns and expounding on the characteristic of “sincerity” as being one of their greatest virtues.

  8. - MOON - Monday, May 2, 11 @ 9:38 am:


    If you know anything about history you would realize that even the “Native Americans” migrated from somewhere else. I will admit they eventually were put in “concentration camps”. Not exactly one of the proudest moments in our history.

  9. - Mark - Monday, May 2, 11 @ 10:40 am:

    I am not an advocate of breaking up a family. But the illegal should have known they were taking that risk when they were crossing the border illegally, even if they did not yet have a family. Can’t we give them the option, we’ll deport your whole family, or you can chose to only get deported yourself? Or are there other reasonable options. My concern is all the money being spent for the education, health care, food, retirement, incarceration, etc. of these illegals and their children.

    Some of the children are legal and some are illegal.

    Some illegals pay for their education, health care, food, and retirement.

    But how much does the American taxpayer pay for such services? Where is that study?

  10. - Dan Bureaucrat - Monday, May 2, 11 @ 10:50 am:

    It is hard not to be cynical of anyone elected, but I know Curran to be a man of faith, and I do believe this change came from his conscience.

    His original position is a typical, knee-jerk position that many people have. But, he has met more and more Latino families and seen the real impact of these laws.

    If we want the elected officials to listen and learn, then we should also expect them to change. I think it speaks very well of him.

  11. - 47th Ward - Monday, May 2, 11 @ 10:51 am:

    As far as the Illinois Dream Act, this is a pretty modest bill. It simply says that for children who graduated from Illinois high schools, who otherwise are fine students, we won’t hold their citizenship status against them. They still can’t get federal loans, they can’t get state or federal grants, and graduating from college doesn’t affect their immigration status.

    In many ways, it is purely symbolic. But’s it’s also a reminder that the federal government needs to get the whole immigration issue straightened out once and for all. States like Arizona and Illinois are not going to throw up their hands waiting for a national solution. Arizona passed its bill, and Illinois is poised to pass a bill that practically does the opposite.

    I for one would rather live in a state that welcomes these children, treats them with dignity, and recognizes the contributions they are making, regardless of how they got here.

  12. - Cincinnatus - Monday, May 2, 11 @ 11:20 am:

    When it comes to the immigration debate, the word “illegal” has no meaning.

  13. - Moi - Monday, May 2, 11 @ 11:24 am:

    Does anyone remembered some years back how Madigan sent letters to all his district resident warning them about realtors cold calling asking if they were interested in selling….he was “concerned” about how much his neighborhood was changing and wanted to put a stop to it pinning him against the realtors association?

  14. - 47th Ward - Monday, May 2, 11 @ 11:35 am:

    ===When it comes to the immigration debate, the word “illegal” has no meaning.===

    Care to elaborate Cinci? Do you think a child who followed her parents to Chicago when she was 3 years old is a criminal? Would you support any effort to “legalize” these people? What is your solution to the immigration problem?

  15. - Cincinnatus - Monday, May 2, 11 @ 12:11 pm:

    I think your comment proves my point. The clear application of the law is always shrouded with some sort of implication that people are heartless.

    Start with a closed border. Then hit the employers. Reinstitute e-verify. Then create temporary workers permit with biometric monitoring. Promote legal immigrants with marketable skills. Deport illegals currently in custody. Terminate dual-citizenship. Allow law enforcement to check immigration status during other legal stops.

    Even if we consider the child as legal (which in your scenario she is not), the parent is illegal. The family should be deported. If the child was born here, she is legal, her parents are not. The parents should be deported. They have the choice to leave the child behind with suitable legal guardians and seek citizenship for the child, or take the child back to whatever country is involved.

  16. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Monday, May 2, 11 @ 3:24 pm:

    @Cincinattus -

    No offense, but just how do you plan to fund this orphanage/foster care system for the children of illegal immigrants?

    Do you even have an idea how many kids you’re talking about?

  17. - Cincinnatus - Monday, May 2, 11 @ 3:48 pm:

    What orphanage? If the parents cannot find suitable accommodations, the children can go back to the country of origin. The choice is up to the parent.

    Not to sound crass, but why is it my responsibility to care for illegal immigrants’ children.

    BTW, I am for extensive broad LEGAL immigration. My ancestors and a vast majority of other’s, followed the rules and came here legally. Why can’t this new breed of immigrant (20 million strong), who feels compelled to have the very first thing they do in this country as an illegal act, do the same?

  18. - Rich Miller - Monday, May 2, 11 @ 3:53 pm:

    ===My ancestors and a vast majority of other’s, followed the rules and came here legally.===

    Yeah. They got off the boat.

  19. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Monday, May 2, 11 @ 5:09 pm:

    @Cincinattus -

    Um, if the children are born here they are U.S. citizens, it’s their right to remain here, even if you deport the parents.

    Legally, its really not that much different than locking a mother up in jail. The kids become wards of the state.

    The irony of your plan, of course, is that most of the visas that are granted in the U.S. are for family reunification, so as soon as you deport those parents, they move to the front of the line to get back in anyway.

    Seems like we could save everyone a bunch of hassle and eliminate a lot of government paperwork and payroll if we just let them stay.

  20. - wordslinger - Monday, May 2, 11 @ 5:16 pm:

    –Not to sound crass, but why is it my responsibility to care for illegal immigrants’ children.–

    If those children are United States’ citizens, and you deport their parents, you just made it your responsibility.

    Every original intent Constitutional constructionist knows that. No second-class citizens in that document.

  21. - Listening In - Monday, May 2, 11 @ 5:42 pm:

    ==My concern is all the money being spent for the education, health care, food, retirement, incarceration, etc. of these illegals and their children==

    I am disappointed that no one answered Mark’s misguided questions. The studies have been done (do a google search.) Mark:

    In actuality, Social Security is only flush right now because so many ‘illegals’ (rude way to refer to people) pay into it without any claim.

    In actuality, undocumented people are (by law) not able to get food stamps or subsidized health care. The only exception is for expecting mothers because pre-natal care is cheaper than premie babies. and Yes, they go to the ER for health care, but we didn’t help change that by excluding them from getting insurance in Obamacare.

    But the biggest fallacy is assuming that all of them are ‘gaming the system’. they come here to work because we decimated their economy with NAFTA. (see
    “NAFTA, by permitting heavily-subsidized US corn and other agri-business products to compete with small Mexican farmers, has driven the Mexican farmer off the land …Some 2 million Mexicans have been forced out of agriculture, and many of those that remain are living in desperate poverty. These people are among those that cross the border to feed their families.)

    And lastly, have you concerned yourself with how much it costs us to deport them? Feds estimate $12,500 per person

    coming to a whopping $285 billion “requiring $922 in new taxes for every man, woman, and child in this country”.

    Give a pathway to citizenship, charge a heavy fee that pays for the process, and let their income start contributing towards our tax revenue.

    The solution is clear - we can’t afford to lose their SSN revenue at this point, not to mention all the work they do for our country. Why is this such an issue for people???

  22. - Listening In - Monday, May 2, 11 @ 5:43 pm:

    Rich - love your comment. Cinncinatus, what rules were there for your grandparents to follow?

  23. - 47th Ward - Monday, May 2, 11 @ 6:02 pm:

    ===I am disappointed that no one answered Mark’s misguided questions.===

    I only have so much time LI, and so tried to keep my comment focused on the topic, the IL Dream Act. Plus, facts and logic don’t persuade too many people on this issue.

  24. - wordslinger - Monday, May 2, 11 @ 6:04 pm:

    –Cinncinatus, what rules were there for your grandparents to follow?–

    Rule No. 1 — Get in here.

    Rule No. 2 — There is no Rule No. 2.

    Immigration from Mexico, legal and illegal, is one of the more dishonest issues in American politics.

    Business interests — agriculture, restaurants, hotels, homebuilders, commercial real estate management, commercial landscapers, cleaning services, etc. — all want the cheap labor that can’t vote and is scared to make a beef about working conditions.

    But like Capt. Renault, their political buddies are shocked, shocked at all this illegal immigration. So they set a ridiculously low “legal” number, make a lot of noise on TV about fences and round up the usual suspects every once in a while.

    If the jobs weren’t being dangled by American business, no one would come here illegally. Except for the drug dealers, who are making a killing (on all levels) shipping us weed while we send back dollars and guns.

  25. - Loop Lady - Monday, May 2, 11 @ 7:48 pm:

    Has Madigan ever done anything as politcally transparent as this? I’ll answer my own question: No…

  26. - Mark - Monday, May 2, 11 @ 9:26 pm:

    My mother in law was a legal immigrant. There was an entire process she had to go through to become a legal immigrant. It really upset her when illegal immigrants would come to the emergency room for free health care, she would see the same ones year after year, and they didn’t even bother to learn the language.

  27. - Mark - Monday, May 2, 11 @ 9:27 pm:

    And thanks for your points Listening In. I like to hear both sides of the argument.

  28. - CR Stateside - Tuesday, May 3, 11 @ 4:41 am:

    Rich- very good point. Only rules on the boats: ‘don’t talk about what happens on the boat’. Outside of the fight club structure- there were no rules. If you were Irish, get off the boat- deal with potatoes being thrown at you, work for meager wages and throw a few boxing matches in the local pub.
    I trivialize, but my- How we forget our history.
    The irony is how the GOP stalwarts claim to be “pro- family” yet are willing to break families apart (as many comments here advocate) and have another ethnic group follow the same path as the black community into the hands of broken family structure/wards of the state. Isn’t that what you are so against? Higher social program costs?
    Figure out a way to have them benefit our economy in monetizing their employment, assess penalty fees and have them be taxed (legally). Many already work- have them share the pain. Isn’t that what ‘many imply’ when they say “my ancestors the (Irish, Italians, etc) followed the rules”?

  29. - Cincinnatus - Tuesday, May 3, 11 @ 9:04 am:

    Cr said,

    “The irony is how the GOP stalwarts claim to be “pro- family” yet are willing to break families apart…”

    The two aren’t mutually exclusive. I am not a “Citizen of the World” or other such drib be. I am a citizen of the United States, and as such, my first priority is for the people in this country legally, and not for those who have chosen to break our laws. If we had an endless pot of money, it would be a much different situation. If there was not lawlessness at our boarder, things would be different. But anyone who doesn’t face the reality of the situation, that we cannot do everything all of the time, has their head firmly planted in the sand.

  30. - Cincinnatus - Tuesday, May 3, 11 @ 9:06 am:


    Our ancestors, came into the US and were (mostly) immediately subjected to a process (we can argue how rigorous) that allowed them to enter the country legally. Things changed in the early 1950’s.

  31. - wordslinger - Tuesday, May 3, 11 @ 9:29 am:

    –my first priority is for the people in this country legally, and not for those who have chosen to break our laws–

    By lawbreakers, do you mean the solid citizens who hire illegals to do the sweat work?

    What do you think happens, you sneak over the Rio Grande and apply for welfare? That’s a neat trick. You go to work, and everyone’s in on the scam, from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on down.

  32. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, May 3, 11 @ 9:32 am:

    Cincinnatus, my ancestors came over in the 18th Century. But the Irish and the other waves that flooded our shores in the 19th and early 20th Centuries barely had to do anything to be considered citizens. They basically just had to show up, as long as they were from the “right” countries.

  33. - wordslinger - Tuesday, May 3, 11 @ 9:39 am:

    –But the Irish and the other waves that flooded our shores in the 19th and early 20th Centuries barely had to do anything to be considered citizens. They basically just had to show up, as long as they were from the “right” countries.–

    That brings to mind an outrageously hilarious and wildly politically incorrect line by Howard Johnson in “Blazing Saddles” involving the diverse band of railroad workers that ends “….but we don’t want the Irish.”

    The rules of the house prevent me from spelling it out, lol.

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