Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel on Friday said he supports a bill that would allow undocumented citizens a chance to obtain private scholarships to college.
"If we keep the pressure up, keep our voices loud, we will pass the Illinois Dream Act," Emanuel said, "It’s only fitting that... on the issue of immigration reform, Illinois does not follow the path that some are beating toward what Arizona has done, passing the Illinois Dream Act, we will show the country a different path."
Emanuel's remarks came at a rally held with Sen. Richard Durbin pushing for passage of federal and state DREAM acts. The bill has bipartisan support, although some Republicans have been criticized for supporting it.
The state Senate passed the bill earlier this month.
Emanuel back in January outlined similar ideas when speaking about his "New Americans Agenda," which would be a DREAM Act for the city.
The federal Dream Act passed the last Democratic-controlled House of Representatives but died in the Senate. Durbin re-introduced the bill last week, acknowledging it would be even harder “though not impossible” to pass the act now that the House is controlled by Republicans, many of whom ran on platforms of cracking down on illegal immigration.
The federal proposal is different because it would give some illegal immigrants a path to citizenship.