CHICAGO - Participating in a business confab about immigration reform Tuesday, GOP U.S. Senate candidate Jim Oberweis apologized for the "harsh tone" of his "rhetoric ten years ago," and said he now believes illegal immigrants already in the country should be offered "non-immigrant visas" that would allow them to stay in the country as a special class of individuals.
He told the audience that his still in favors stronger border control, and believes that adults who enter the United States illegally should not be given a "shortened path to citizenship." But he would support a path to citizenship for children brought to the country illegally by their parents.
Oberweis' opponent, Dick Durbin, responded quickly, recalling a decade-old Oberweis ad featuring him in a helicopter over Soldier Field warning about the problem of illegal immigration. Durbin's campaign melodramatically called the spot the “most inflammatory and divisive campaign ad in Illinois history.”
When asked about the ad, Oberweis said: “It was a mistake. I wish that I hadn’t (done the ad), yes…it was poorly done.” But he believes he can get past it.