If there’s to be immigration reform, should it include an opportunity for citizenship for illegal immigrants? Business interests and some Republican politicians say yes. Ezekiel Flores, a business owner and member of the Illinois Business Immigration Coalition whose father was an illegal immigrant, says it’s essential.
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“For thousands of business leaders in Illinois, immigration reform is both economically important and morally right,” he said at a presentation Monday in Chicago involving business people and Republican politicians who support “comprehensive” reform – meaning a path to citizenship – urging Congress to act on the matter this year.
Rich Guebert, head of the Illinois Farm Bureau, says enforcement mechanism such as e-verify, without allowing workers to be here legally, would mean harm on the farm.
“Absent any ag labor reform, e-verify would no doubt drive away agriculture’s labor force and leave Illinois farmers with no options,” he said.
Among the Republican politicians who support the path to citizenship are Gov. Bruce Rauner, U.S. Sen. Mark S. Kirk (R-Ill.), and U.S. Reps. Aaron Schock (R-Peoria), Adam Kinzinger (R-Channahon) and Robert J. Dold (R-Kenilworth).
A chunk of other Republicans, including U.S. Reps. John Shimkus (R-Collinsville) and his protégé, Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Taylorville), are for border security, and possibly measures such as farm worker and high-tech visas, but not citizenship for illegal immigrants.