Thursday, October 1, 2020

GOP Congressional Incumbents are Calling for Immigration Reform Plans

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Two Illinois Republicans considered among the nation’s most vulnerable congressional incumbents are breaking from their party and its outspoken presidential nominee, Donald Trump, to push laws that would include a path to citizenship for people living in the country illegally.

Rep. Bob Dold and Sen. Mark Kirk joined GOP Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida and business leaders at an event Wednesday in Chicago. They argued comprehensive immigration reform would help the economy, ensure companies have the workers they need and is the right thing to do. “It’s about people before politics,” said Dold, whose district north of Chicago is home to large numbers of Hispanic voters and Fortune 500 companies. “We need to fix a broken system.”

Immigration has been a tricky issue for Republicans, particularly as the electorate has grown more and more diverse. After a dismal showing at the polls in 2012, leaders said the party must become more inclusive if it is to win back the White House. The measure would have strengthened border security, increased visas for legal immigrants and given some 11 million undocumented immigrants a path to become citizens. The 14 GOP senators who backed the plan are trying to hold on to their seats in November.

Other endangered Republicans have pushed back on Trump’s more divisive statement statements about immigration. Even Bill Kunkler, an executive vice president at a Chicago company who has faithfully voted for Republicans for president his entire adult life said “I hope Trump and his supporters are humiliated at the polls,” Kunkler attributes his success in business to the Mexican immigrants who worked beside him in his early years supervising an Illinois quarry.

Dold, who’s in a rematch with Democratic former U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider, has said he won’t support Trump. Kirk, facing a difficult challenge from Democratic U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth, first said he would support the GOP nominee but withdrew his backing in June. Kirk peppered his remarks at Wednesday’s event with Spanish, talking up a program he started to reunite Mexican families by providing visas for people in Mexico to come to the U.S.

FOX News Latino