Rep. Rahm Emanuel is ducking questions about his role in the Immigration and Naturalization Service’s Citizenship USA Initiative, which he helped direct back in 1996 during the Clinton Administration.
Emanuel, in his capacity as a senior White House adviser to President Bill Clinton, was well known in Department of Justice circles as a “shadow Attorney General,” according to a former Clinton DOJ official.
“Rahm won’t say anything about it now, he’s scared out of his mind that he’s going to get tarred for his role in this thing, but he was very much involved in directing policy at DOJ, particularly on immigration policy,” says the former official now in private practice in New York.
Meanwhile, Emanuel has been attempting to send reporters asking about his role of late in other directions. According to a reporter for a Chicago daily who asked Emanuel about his activities at DOJ, “He said that it was all a Harold Ickes operation.”
Emanuel was identified in a 2000 DOJ Inspector General report as a key player in a taxpayer-funded scheme to fast-track legal and illegal immigrants through any means possible for citizenship so that they could vote for the Democrat party. The program was called Citizenship USA.
CUSA outsourced some INS citizenship requirement programs (English language testing, for example), and was designed to speed up citizenship opportunities so that newly minted citizens could vote for the Democrat party, if not in 1996, then in 1998 and 2000.
Emanuel has denied any role, though the 2000 report makes clear he was involved. Now, as reporters have begun asking questions, Emanuel has refused to comment. According to one eyewitness, when Emanuel was recently approached by a Los Angeles Times reporter who has been asking about CUSA, the congressman from Illinois turned and walked quickly in the other direction.