Illinois Republicans Call for Immigration Reform

Image: Illinois Republicans Call for Immigration Reform Reps. Adam Kinzinger, left, and Aaron Schock

Wednesday, 23 Apr 2014 06:45 AM

By Elliot Jager

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Two Republican lawmakers from Illinois, Reps. Adam Kinzinger and Aaron Schock, have come out in support of immigration reform, Roll Call reported.

Kinzinger and Schock provided video testimonials for an Illinois Business Immigration Coalition meeting on Tuesday in Chicago. Former House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, another Illinois Republican, also took part in the pro-immigration gathering.

Kinzinger said current immigration policies are "broken" and "holding our nation back." While calling for securing U.S. borders as a first step in the reform process, he said it was time to overhaul immigration policy and provide a path toward legal status.

"We must work hard to come to an agreement on how to bring undocumented workers out of the shadows, legally entering the workforce and becoming part of the American melting pot that makes this country great," Kinzinger said.

Schock called outright for a pathway toward citizenship. "Quite frankly, I think if a man or a woman likes their American job, wherever they were born, they should be able to keep that job. We need a clear path to citizenship for workers who are already here and a fair and efficient on-ramp for those who want to come here."

California Rep. Xavier Becerra, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, released a statement saying he was "encouraged" by the positions taken by Schock and Kinzinger and urged them to support a discharge petition that calls for a vote on HR 15, a "bipartisan bill to finally fix our broken immigration system."

He also urged Speaker John Boehner to recognize that the number of Democrats and Republicans who support immigration reform is growing and to allow a vote on the matter.

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