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Rauner blames Chicago crime on “massive number of illegal immigrants” who take away jobs

Tuesday, Oct 9, 2018

* Tribune

Gov. Bruce Rauner and challenger J.B. Pritzker clashed over immigration and Chicago violence Tuesday, with the Republican chief executive alleging that immigrants living illegally in the state are a factor in the city’s crime problem while the Democrat said they contribute to Illinois’ economy. […]

“Illegal immigration takes jobs away from Americans. It holds down wages, hurts union workers, farmworkers, factory workers, hurts wages and raises unemployment,” Rauner said.

“One of the reasons we have such high unemployment in the city of Chicago and so much crime is the massive number of illegal immigrants here take jobs away from American citizens and Chicago citizens,” he contended, adding that Pritzker wants to make Illinois a “sanctuary state.”

But Pritzker said the state needed someone to stand up against President Donald Trump’s efforts to crack down on immigrants entering and living in the country illegally. “They are good for the economy of the state of Illinois,” he said.

Video clip is here.

* Rauner was asked by reporters after the Sun-Times editorial board event to clarify his connection of illegal immigration to Chicago’s crime issue

Reporter: Governor can we clarify what you said about illegal immigrants? It sounded like you were saying that illegal immigrants are the cause of crime in Chicago. What proof do you have of that and why would you say that?

Rauner: Unemployment, unemployment and low wages are part of contributing to crime in Chicago. There’s a lack of economic opportunity. How does illegal immigration relate to that? Illegal immigration, large scale illegal immigration, holds down wages and takes jobs that would otherwise be available for American citizens, Chicago citizens, takes them for illegal immigrants. That’s the connection. It’s about lack of economic opportunity.

Reporter: How many Chicagoans want the types of jobs that illegal immigrants are doing, though? Whether it’s a landscaping job or something else that’s being paid cash on the side. How many Chicagoans really want those jobs?

Rauner: Chicagoans want to work. You ask someone in Lawndale, Austin, Englewood whether they want to work. They do. They’re looking for jobs. Those jobs in too many cases are being filled by illegal immigrants. That’s wrong. I support legal immigration. Legal immigration is good and America is built by legal immigrats. But illegal immigration, we have immigration laws for a reason, and Mr. Pritzker has been very clear he says there’s no one here illegally. There’s no such thing as an ‘illegal person.’ That’s just not true. And he said specifically that he supports sanctuary cities and making Illinois a sanctuary state. I do not. We have immigration laws. They should be enforced. And the lack of economic opportunity on the South Side and West Side is a major driver of the violence there and we’ve got to fix that.

* Pritzker campaign…

“At today’s editorial board, Bruce Rauner blamed immigrants for crime in Chicago, demonizing entire communities with a vicious attack that may as well have come directly from Donald Trump’s mouth,” said Pritzker campaign spokeswoman Jordan Abudayyeh. “This is divisive and shameful rhetoric from a failed governor who time and again has stood in the way of investing in communities and passing commonsense gun safety legislation to keep families safe.”

…Adding… I forgot about this Sun-Times story from the weekend about illegal immigrants who work in Chinese restaurants in Chicago

But since he started working at eateries three years ago, he said he has shuffled between Asian restaurants all over the Midwest, putting in 12- or 13-hour days, six days a week, for pay that works out to a few dollars an hour. The men say they get virtually no breaks and are often treated poorly, put up in substandard housing. […]

The lawsuit claimed the agencies and their restaurant clients “collectively set the wages for each Latino worker referred as low as $3.50 an hour, well below the $8.25 minimum wage in Illinois.” The employees work 12-15 hours a day, six days a week with “no bona fide meal breaks.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - City Zen - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 2:09 pm:

    Can’t say Bruce isn’t all-in. Maybe not all-there, but certainly all-in.

  2. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 2:12 pm:

    If he’s still shoring up that segment of his base, he must know he’s in trouble.

  3. - Henry Francis - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 2:15 pm:

    Someone needs to do some digging into his immigrant grandfather. If no immigration records can be found, then it would confirm his grandfather was an illegal immigrant, right?

  4. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 2:16 pm:

    So he’ll channel Trump, but he won’t say “Trump?”

    Talk about a deer stuck on a fence. With headlights in the eyes, to boot.

  5. - JoanP - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 2:17 pm:

    “It . . . hurts union workers”

    I wouldn’t think he’d care about that.

  6. - Roadrager - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 2:17 pm:

    All this, and Jeannie still won’t return his phone calls.

  7. - Ryan - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 2:17 pm:

    He’s running as Bruce “The Trumpster” Rauner. Not a winnin’ strategy in 2018, buddy.

  8. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 2:18 pm:

    These answers sound more and more like an audition for a job in the POTUS Administration.

    Don’t tell me Diana is a Democrat and wouldn’t…

    Bruce and Diana have put in $117 million for Raunerism. The “I’m a Democrat” schtick is over.

    Ambassador of something sounds good, maybe Italy?

  9. - Annoyance - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 2:19 pm:

    Pilsen, Devon Ave., Hermosa just some of the economic areas of the city that would not exist without immigrants what is he smoking.

  10. - Nick - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 2:19 pm:

    It goes without saying that this is not a winning strategy in Illinois.

  11. - Wow - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 2:24 pm:

    Playing for those 20 votes south of Springfield. Great strategy..

  12. - union proud - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 2:27 pm:

    Then Rauner would really hate the man who was governor of Illinois in 2017 who signed the Trust Act…

  13. - knownothing - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 2:28 pm:

    yikes, this is getting embarrassing.

  14. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 2:29 pm:

    Willy, not sure the Italians would receive a guy as U.S. Ambassador who’s as poorly dressed as Rauner is generally.

  15. - DarkHorse - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 2:29 pm:

    There’s no crime - and in many cases, even no shame - in being wrong, or even incompetent in many cases. We’ve all been there. The fear mongering about illegal immigrants, though, is beyond shame, it’s a disgrace. I’m hoping Rauner gets held to like 35%, so he can ponder the wisdom of his remarks while living in some villa in Tuscany.

  16. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 2:31 pm:

    ===…not sure the Italians would receive a guy as U.S. Ambassador who’s as poorly dressed as Rauner is generally.===

    It’s a gag, schtick… Rauner dresses to the respect He’s willing to give.

    Rauner will magically find ties and $5,000 suits…

  17. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 2:34 pm:

    A knock at the door…
    Voter: (through closed door) Yes?
    Rauner: Independent voter?
    Voter: Who?
    Rauner: Republican voter?
    Voter: Who is this?
    Rauner, pausing: Taxes are too high
    Voter:Taxes are too high for whom
    Rauner: Democratic voter?
    Voter: You’re that failing governor, aren’t you?
    Rauner: Madigan - bad - bad, we need reform…
    Voter: You get out of here before I call the cops…
    Rauner: Conservative voter? Wait: JB is a tax cheat…Working people good…
    Voter: I’ve got my cell phone dialing 911
    Rauner: I phoned Madigan on election night and he told me he’d resign if I won reelection….

  18. - LXB - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 2:34 pm:

    Ambassador to Sweden, so he can visit grandpa’s childhood home.

  19. - DarkHorse - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 2:36 pm:

    What makes Rauner think he’d be welcomed by Italians?

  20. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 2:38 pm:

    In August 2018,(last available set of numbers for all three areas)according to the BLS the US. unemployment rate was 3.9 % and the Chicago metropolitan area unemployment rate was 3.8%. In Illinois same month the unemployment rate was 4.1%. So why bring up the Chicago area? It is a tenth of a percentage point better than the nation. It would seem that nonChicago Illinois has the problem instead.

  21. - Anon - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 2:38 pm:

    I thought it was out terribly high tax rate that was killing the economy.

  22. - Leslie K - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 2:41 pm:

    Does Rauner seem more unhinged than normal, or is it just that I find him even more offensive than normal? November can’t come soon enough…

  23. - Wow - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 2:46 pm:

    I have family in Italy.. they are waiting to welcome the man who casually throws out the “mafia” word.

  24. - Precinct Captain - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 2:46 pm:

    Bruce Rauner is a racist.

  25. - Anon221 - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 2:47 pm:

    T bashes Chicago on crime and rah-rahs stop and frisk, and Rauner’s reply is “Because Illegals”??? Way to solve complex issues boys.

  26. - Skeptic - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 2:47 pm:

    “I thought it was out [sic] terribly high tax rate that was killing the economy.” No silly, it’s lack of term limits. /s

  27. - Roadrager - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 2:50 pm:

    ==It’s a gag, schtick… Rauner dresses to the respect He’s willing to give.

    Rauner will magically find ties and $5,000 suits…==

    And every last “G” he’s dropped over the past five years.

  28. - Nick Name - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 2:51 pm:

    ===“Illegal immigration takes jobs away from Americans. It holds down wages, hurts union workers, farmworkers, factory workers, hurts wages and raises unemployment,” Rauner said.===

    It’s a bit late to reinvent yourself as pro-labor, Gov. Gaslight, but thanks for trying.

  29. - Shytown - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 2:53 pm:

    Did he just pull a Trump?

  30. - Dave - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 2:57 pm:

    What a hypocrite. He has no problem with immigrants taking state IT and union jobs.
    Hardly any Illinois state agency is signed up to screen immigrant workers with E-verify. You can see for yourself.
    So Rauner really doesn’t care if a worker is legally here if they help him by working for DoIT. Rauner just doesn’t like Mexicans. He loves Indians with computer skillls.

  31. - A Jack - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 3:00 pm:

    Just taking Texas for example, illegals make up a higher percentage of the workforce, but Texas has a lower unemployment rate according to Pew research, 2014 numbers. So, this seems like another pants in fire moments for Rauner.

  32. - Nacho - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 3:06 pm:

    Ed Gillespie tried this sort of transformation last year in Virginia and it was a total disaster. I expect this to work equally well for Rauner.

    Each day it seems he’s more and more determined to throw away whatever dignity he had left as he goes out the door.

  33. - Pundent - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 3:09 pm:

    Between this and the bashing of the University of Illinois, I’m at a complete loss to explain Rauner’s closing “strategy.”

  34. - Harvest76 - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 3:10 pm:

    “It holds down wages, hurts union workers…”

    So, illegal immigration is what goes after good union wages? Someone better let the IPI know their strategy is all messed up.

  35. - @misterjayem - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 3:11 pm:

    “I’m sorry Gov. Rauner — with your unfavorability rating, the best you can hope for is to lose with dignity.”

    “I’ve never done that before and I’m not going to start now.”

    – MrJM

  36. - Nacho - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 3:15 pm:

    == So why bring up the Chicago area?==

    The real question is whether bringing up Chicago in this context counts as a dog whistle when it’s part of such a Trumpy statement.

  37. - Responsa - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 3:29 pm:

    The Sun Times article about illegal immigrant restaurant workers being taken advantage of is interesting and troubling isn’t it?. It suggests there is a problem there with respect to unfairly and illegally holding wages down does it not?

  38. - Amalia - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 3:30 pm:

    Bruce, you’re going to have to trade in your plaid shirt for a suit with a tie that is way to long. Way to channel Trump’s lies.

  39. - Sasha F. - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 3:35 pm:

    So who is hiring these folks Bruce? How are undocumented people getting these jobs?

    And also pitting undocumented people against black citizens is so classy!

  40. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 3:35 pm:

    Rauner’s Two-fer: “Its Madigan’s Immigrants” (EP’s)

  41. - TKMH - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 3:38 pm:

    He’s gone full Jim Oberweis. This ain’t pretty.

  42. - Flynn's Mom - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 3:46 pm:

    Where does he get his “facts”?

  43. - JS Mill - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 3:48 pm:

    =“One of the reasons we have such high unemployment in the city of Chicago and so much crime is the massive number of illegal immigrants here take jobs away from American citizens and Chicago citizens,”=

    I am sure he can share some data on those claims.

    Maybe after we get the waste, fraud, and abuse numbers?

  44. - Practical Politics - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 3:55 pm:

    Lazy comments from Rauner. Blaming the immigrants.

    It would be more meaningful to blame the lax policies in terms of crime and punishment advocated by Preckwinkle, Foxx, and others. Criminals are convicted and released quickly. Felonies are reduced to misdemeanors. Folks who would be jailed elsewhere are given probation or electronic ankle bracelets that do not work.

  45. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 4:08 pm:

    I hope social conservatives get what low regard Rauner has for their intelligence (and memory). The dude legalized sanctuary cities and expanded taxpayer-funded abortion to all Medicaid recipients.

  46. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 4:13 pm:

    He’s going full on Donald Trump in a state where Trump’s approval rating is like 37%. Odd tact.

  47. - Henry Francis - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 4:25 pm:

    ==He’s going full on Donald Trump in a state where Trump’s approval rating is like 37%. Odd tact.==

    Well, when the poor guy’s own favorability rating is 24%, 37% can be aspirational.

  48. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 5:30 pm:

    Remember he’s a “moderate” Republican.

  49. - DeseDemDose - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 8:52 pm:

    Bruce could have taken that $117 million to Palm Springs and paid the Koch brothers to let him hang around on weekends and wash their cars and clean their pool. He wanted to play with the big boys so bad…

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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