U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) is welcoming Republicans who are moving toward immigration reform. U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Peoria) says he’s for a path to citizenship, while Reps. John Shimkus (R-Collinsville) and Adam Kinzinger (R-Channahon) have come out for legalization, if not citizenship. State Sen. Jim Oberweis (R-Sugar Grove), running against Durbin for the Senate, also is OK with legalization, but not an opportunity for citizenship, for illegal immigrants.
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Durbin’s view: “Every time I hear a conservative Republican willing to step out for comprehensive immigration reform, I applaud. I applaud my opponent for finally moving away from what I thought was a terrible position closer to my position. He hasn’t come out in favor of comprehensive reform, but we need a positive, bipartisan dialogue in America about immigration, and we need to do it now,” he said.
But Durbin says legalization without an opportunity for citizenship is a bad idea, and unless these House members push the speaker to call immigration reform for a vote, they’re not serious.
The Senate passed an immigration reform measure last year, with support from both parties, which allows illegal immigrants to apply for legal status, and to apply for citizenship if they pay their taxes and learn English. It has not come up for a vote in the House.