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  • Blogging: Another GOP House Member Switches Course on Immigration by Greg Siskind

    Bloggings on Immigration Law and Policy

    by Greg Siskind

    Another GOP House Member Switches Course on Immigration

    This time it's Colorado Tea Party Congressman Mike Coffman. From the Denver Post:

    At a church in Aurora on Sunday afternoon, U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman told a standing-room-only crowd of roughly 800 that he was in favor of legal status for illegal immigrants and a path to citizenship for their children.

    Coffman, a Republican who has proposed anti-immigration legislation in the past, said his change in stance was personal because of interaction with various families. Coffman previously has proposed legislation that would force Colorado's ballots to be English-only and supported a bill to strip natural-born citizenship from children of illegal immigrants.



    Tea Party SOTU Response Surprisingly Pro-Immigration

    Rand Paul actually had a more pro-immigration tone than Marco Rubio's official GOP speech. Here's what Senator Paul had to say on immigration:

    For those who are struggling we want to you to have something infinitely more valuable than a free phone, we want you to have a job and pathway to success. We are the party that embraces hard work and ingenuity, therefore we must be the party that embraces the immigrant who wants to come to America for a better future.

    We must be the party who sees immigrants as assets, not liabilities. We must be the party that says, “If you want to work, if you want to become an American, we welcome you.”

    Now this doesn't tell us how they'll vote on comprehensive reform. But Paul has been reported to be meeting with Congressman Gutierrez along with Tea Party darling Paul Ryan. So assuming the Tea Party is not going to support immigration reform may be an overreach.

    Rubio Endorses Triggers in SOTU Response

    Surprisingly, Senator Marco Rubio devoted just three sentences to immigration reform in his Republican response to the State of the Union Address. Here's the text:

    We can also help our economy grow if we have a legal immigration system that allows us to attract and assimilate the world’s best and brightest. We need a responsible, permanent solution to the problem of those who are here illegally. But first, we must follow through on the broken promises of the past to secure our borders and enforce our laws.

    How to interpret these words? First, he endorses skilled worker immigration improvements. No surprise there as he's made this a major issue for advocacy. He next calls for a "responsible, permanent solution" regarding illegally present immigrants. Pretty wishy-washy. Could be a path to citizenship. Could be permanent second class status. And he indicates that certifyng border security must happen before people can proceed to that permanent solution.

    I guess he's speaking for the GOP and can't commit in this particular speech to too much, but still. He's hardly helping his party improve his image with Latino voters here.


    About The Author

    Greg Siskind is a partner in Siskind Susser's Memphis, Tennessee, office. After graduating magna cum laude from Vanderbilt University, he received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Chicago. Mr. Siskind is a member of AILA, a board member of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, and a member of the ABA, where he serves on the LPM Publishing Board as Marketing Vice Chairman. He is the author of several books, including the J Visa Guidebook and The Lawyer's Guide to Marketing on the Internet. Mr. Siskind practices all areas of immigration law, specializing in immigration matters of the health care and technology industries. He can be reached by email at gsiskind@visalaw.com.


    The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) alone and should not be imputed to ILW.COM.
    Comments 1 Comment
    1. Lynn Atherton Bloxham's Avatar
      Lynn Atherton Bloxham -
      Hopefully you are already aware of this, but please note if you did not know that the Libertarian Party has never been anything but positive on immigration, In fact being pro Open Immigration which even most Democrats are not. That is why we were called from our earliest days, "The Party of Principle." Many people dismiss the libertarians (both political and philosophical, as having too few supporters to be of value, but our influence is far more effective than one might realize unless tracking the many research, legal and special issue organizations that are definitely providing the good arguments. Whether it be an historical, legal, economic or principled argument our libertarians are influential far more than numbers would appear. for the last fifty years we have been consistent advocates of principled positions. I certainly enjoy your articles. Thanks for the good information you provide.
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