While national level GOP legislators appear caught up in rabid opposition to President Barack Obama's executive action granting amnesty and work permits to up to 5 million illegal aliens, in some states, including some in the Midwest — Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Ohio — many Republican politicians are starting to think some form of amnesty is not such a bad idea after all, Politico notes
Midwestern Republican legislators, more and more, are beginning to see the granting of amnesty and work permits to illegal aliens as both an economic and electoral advantage at a time when cities such as Cleveland and Detroit are facing financial and population hardship.
Michigan's GOP Gov. Rick Snyder, considered a Republican hard-liner on many issues, has gone as far as to open an Office of New Americans in the state and propose the issuance of 50,000 new visas for high-skilled workers, as long as they agree to live in Detroit for a specified period of time.
Karen Philippi, director of the office, told Politico: "The focus of our immigration policy is more on economic impact than on social justice."
"Immigrants are proven job creators," Snyder said, "and we should tap their entrepreneurial spirit to accelerate our recovery. We have thousands of students who are trained at our world-class universities who want to stay and be a part of our reinvention."
Ohio's GOP Gov. John Kasich shocked the Republican Governors Association last year when he said he remained open to Obama's plan and added, "my sense is I don’t like the idea of citizenship when people jump the line, [but] we may have to do it. Everybody in this country has to feel as though they have an opportunity."
The Chicago Council of Global Affairs
found in a survey of Midwest Republican business leaders in 12 states that most of them favored the Senate's immigration bill last year, which died before it came to the House floor, and 69 percent said it was important to allow more high-skilled immigrants into the U.S.
A survey by Crossroads GPS and the American Action Network found that while Republicans were well ahead of Democrats in wanting to step up border security and enforcement, respondents from both parties were very close together when it comes to creating a path to citizenship
for aliens here for at least five years, employed, speaking English, with no criminal record and paying their fines and taxes.
Mike Murphy, a Republican political consultant and former Indiana representative, told Politico: "I think John Kasich's comments and Rick Snyder's policies of immigration as being a vital part of economic recovery for parts of the Midwest are signs that economic pragmatism, what Republicans have always used as their model, is more important than party partisanship."
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