CHICAGO - Next Tuesday, Illinois GOP officials will join with the Illinois Business Immigration Coalition to urge Congress to pass what they call "immigration reform".
Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner will be participating, along with past and present GOP leaders, including U.S. House Speaker Denny Hastert, former governors Jim Edgar and Jim Thompson, State Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka, Illinois Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno and Illinois House Minority Leader Jim Durkin.
Depending on the outcome of the meeting, the Republican lineup may be putting itself in opposition to their party's platform, which states (section VIII):
A. We are a nation of immigrants, and the Republican Party welcomes those who respect our laws and seek freedom and opportunity in our great country. We believe it is only right to expect that our new residents come in through the front door and join us in society as fellow Americans. Further, we advocate retaining the right to adopt and enforce prudent policies relating to the numbers of immigrants America welcomes each year and their individual contributions to our nation’s needs.
B. We call on the Federal Government to streamline the task of citizenship for legal immigrants to assimilate and complete the process of becoming Americans.
C. We call for the granting of full citizenship rights to be granted to any immigrant upon the completion of service to the armed forces of the United States.
D. Those who have been deported for violating our laws by their conduct as residents of the United States – should not be granted a second opportunity to take their place among us; this is a matter both of self‐protection and of upholding the public trust.
E. Illinois government should assist our federal government in the mission of protecting our homeland. Illinois Republicans therefore urge reversal of “sanctuary city” policies, which bar our law enforcement officers from aiding Immigration & Customs Enforcement agents. The lack of adequate security at our ports and on our nation’s borders fosters an atmosphere conducive to smuggling of terrorists and their weapons into our country. We are duty bound to support the efforts of the US Dept. of Homeland Security and to insist on even greater efforts to protect our homeland.
F. We further call on the Governor and the General Assembly to abandon incentives for illegal aliens to settle in Illinois.
The Illinois Business Immigration Coaltions website (HERE) indicates a different position on immigration. Members of the coalition include the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, the Illinois Chamber of Commerce and the left-wing Illinois Coalition for Immigrants and Refugees Rights (ICIRR).
Several of the groups in the coalition promote a "pathway to legal citizenship," which has become code for amnesty for those who have broken the law and entered the country illegally.
A protest of Tuesday's event is being planned by those concerned that immigration laws will be ignored rather than enforced.
The outcome and its effect on the election in November should be interesting. Stay tuned.