As the newly-introduced immigration reform legislation is debated in the Senate, some nontraditional supporters of immigration reform have spoken out about why it’s important to them.
The man known as the architect of an anti-taxes pledge that conservatives pledge allegiance to, came out in support of immigration reform on Monday at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. “People are an asset, they’re not a liability,” he began. “America’s the richest country in the world; it’s also the most immigrant-friendly country in the world. This is not a coincidence. It’s our history, and it’s what we proved again and again. Those that would choose to change our history and would make us less immigrant-friendly, would also make us less successful, less prosperous, and certainly less American.”
The Republican vice presidential nominee in 2012 is known as a budget wonk but took a stand in favor of immigration reform on Monday. ”We have a broken immigration system and, if anything, what we see in Boston is that we have to fix and modernize our immigration system for lots of reasons,” Ryan said, according to Politico. “National security reasons, economic security reasons. For all those reasons we need to fix our broken immigration system.”
Because Evangelicals are identified as reliably conservative voters, many might forget that church leaders will often back an issue because they feel it is the right thing to do as part of their faith, regardless of the politics of the issue. “This is not a Latino issue, this is an American issue,” said Rev. Gabriel Salguero, president of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition, when a bipartisan group of Evangelicals presented a letter to the president, the Senate and the House calling for immigration reform in November.“We want leaders in Washington to put aside political rhetoric and partisanship,” Rev. Salguero added.
The man who infamously kept saying Mitt Romney was going to win the 2012 election in a landslide on Fox News, and no longer is contributing to the network, released a video on his website last week where he says Republicans have pulled a fast one on Democrats. He said Democrats want undocumented immigrants to become citizens so they can vote, but don’t want them to work because they will hurt union workers, while Republican “agri-business” types want them to work but don’t want them to vote because they overwhelmingly supported President Obama in November. “The deal that’s been cut puts them here immediately able to work but postpones their becoming citizens and voting by at least 10 years and maybe a longer period of time,” he said. He added that he is excited about the state-of-the-art improvements to border security within the legislation.
Sean Hannity, long known as a powerful conservative voice on Fox News, had a surprising change of heart after the election, when he evolved on immigration reform:
“We’ve gotta get rid of the immigration issue altogether. It’s simple for me to fix it. I think you control the border first, you create a pathway for those people that are here, you don’t say you gotta home. And that is a position that I’ve evolved on. Because you know what–it just–it’s gotta be resolved. The majority of people here–if some people have criminal records you can send’ em home–but if people are here, law-abiding, participating, four years, their kids are born here… first secure the border, pathway to citizenship… then it’s done. But you can’t let the problem continue. It’s gotta stop.”