The mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel, with his political rival Latino Jesus “Chuy” Garcia.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his Latin challenging, Jesus “Chuy” Garcia discussed at the TV in the first of three debatesthat will take before the second round of municipal elections, scheduled for 7 April.
Emanuel attacked his opponent with figures, promises of reforms and new revenues to address the most urgent problems, while Garcia avoided commitments and, when pressed, said upon winning appoint a commission to recommend solutions.
As during the campaign, Emanuel Garcia accused of being “undecided and inexperienced” and he responded that the mayor governs “the rich” and “has lost touch with reality.”
“I have submitted a plan to solve our problems, and you talk about a commission, no plan,” said the mayor.
Emanuel went to his opponent as “Chuy” Garcia while the mayor tried at all times, and despite the tensions that occurred at times, the mayor managed to contain his temper and even acknowledged that it was a person with difficulty relating with others.
“Chicago is safer than before, but not enough for everyone to enjoy,” admitted Emanuel, when Garcia reminded him that there were more than 10,500 shootings in his four years in office.
The Latino candidate also jumped at the chance to blame Emanuel about the current situation of undocumented immigrants in the United States, reminding him that in his role as chief of staff to President Barack Obama advised him “not to invest political capital” on immigration reform.
During the 2008 presidential campaign, then-Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama promised immigration reform to legalize the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the first year in office if elected.
Obama won and named Emanuel as his chief of staff.
The promise of reform, however, did not materialize. Discussions of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the financial crisis and the debate on health reform delayed commitment.
In 2012 Obama again promised immigration reform, this time for a meeting with the candidates organized by Univision at the University of Miami. He promised a law for 2013.
The second promise came to fruition either. On 27 June 2013 the Senate passed a bipartisan plan that included a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants, pro Republican leadership of the House of Representatives stopped the initiative.
On November 20 Obama, in response to congressional inaction on the issue, announced an executive action that temporarily protects deportations about 5 million undocumented immigrants and granted a work permit.
The measure is detained by order of a federal judge after a lawsuit filed by 26 states on December 3 last year. The plaintiffs (24 states governed by Republicans), led by Texas, argue that the president overstepped its executive powers and the measure violates the Constitution.
Discussions between Emanuel and Garcia, to be repeated on 26 and 31 March, are considered most important for being the first time since 1995 that the mayoral election is decided in a runoff.
Emanuel follows the front of the voting preferences with a difference of 11 points, according to the latest survey, and Garcia tries to cut the lead to new members and contributions of funds that will help hire more space for television commercials.