Chicago groups push back against Rauner’s immigration comments

CHICAGO — Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner told reporters this week that furor over his comments on illegal immigration is all political spin.

The governor, who is facing a tough re-election battle against democrat J.B. Pritzker, told reporters his comments were taken out of context.

It all started with a question about where Chicago’s legal and illegal immigrant communities fit into Illinois' economic picture. Rauner weighed in on the topic during the Chicago Sun-Times gubernatorial debate, suggesting that illegal immigration leads to unemployment, crime and lower wages.

But a diverse group of legislators and community leaders don't buy into Rauner's explanation. At a rally Thursday, legislators, immigrant rights groups, union members and religious leaders lashed out at the governor.

State Rep. Celina Villanueva told a crowd gathered at the Thompson Center, “it is utterly reprehensible that a leader of our state has ... basically thrown immigrant communities under the bus for political convenience.”