The top two Republicans on this year’s ballot don’t agree when it comes to immigration reform. The state’s Republican nominee for U.S. Senate, State Sen. Jim Oberweis (R-Sugar Grove), has been a longtime opponent of offering a pathway citizenship to undocumented immigrants. While he now favors offering that path to those who were brought here as children, his stance hasn’t softened on their parents. “I believe that the parents who entered the country illegally should not be given amnesty or a shortened path to citizenship,” Oberweis said.
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While Oberweis says his principles on immigration haven’t changed, he did admit he regrets the anti-immigration ad he made while running for Senate in 2004, where he rode in a helicopter over Soldier Field in Chicago claiming 10,000 people come into the U.S. from Mexico every day.
But the Republican nominee for governor, Bruce Rauner, is in favor of that path as part of comprehensive reform—which he says isn’t amnesty. “Not a word that I use,” Rauner said. “We need folks that are here, if they’re honest and hardworking, they should have a pathway to stay here and ultimately become citizens.” Rauner wouldn’t say whether he supported any particular reform legislation that has been proposed in Congress.