Rep. Mike Coffman is the latest Republican to revise his stance on illegal immigration, telling constituents in Aurora, Colo. that he now supports a pathway to citizenship that would eventually allow children of illegal immigrants to become citizens, reports The Denver Post
The reversal came as a surprise to some of his supporters, given the fact that he had previously proposed legislation forcing Colorado ballots to be printed in English only and supported a bill to prevent the children of immigrants from becoming citizens solely because they were born in the United States.
But while he has changed his mind on allowing immigrant children to become citizens, he told his constituents in a meeting Sunday he has not decided whether he could support the same thing for adults who entered the country illegally or overstayed their visas.
In addition to his new view of citizenship for immigrant children, Coffman, who served 21 years in the military, also restated his support for the Military Enlistment Opportunity Act, which he introduced in Congress Jan. 29. The legislation would provide legal immigrants who have resided in the United States for two years, or those defined as Deferred Action Childhood Arrivals under the current Obama administration policy, the opportunity to enlist in the U.S. military to gain a path to naturalized citizenship.
Coffman told National Public Radio the policy is one that’s good for the country’s national security since it would strengthen the armed forces.
“This really needs to be seen as a national security issue first and an immigration issue second,” Coffman said. “It’s a national security issue because the fact is, we need more qualified applicants to apply for the military to strengthen our armed forces.”
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