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Former Gov. Edgar goes to bat for immigration reform

April 9, 2010

Former Governor Jim Edgar spoke Thursday at an event in Chicago to encourage U.S. House Republicans and the business community to get behind immigration reform.

Edgar was the keynote speaker at the newly formed Illinois Business Immigration Coalition, an off shoot of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights.   

The blog Progress Illinois reported: 

“The coalition includes over 200 businesses that “support comprehensive immigration reform that legalizes the current undocumented workforce, creates new legal channels for future foreign workers and implements smart and effective enforcement measures.” 

After his comments, former Gov. Edgar warned it could be “disastrous for the Republican Party” if the GOP is viewed as anti-immigration.

 Crain’s Chicago political blogger Greg Hinz speculated on the impact of the former Governor’s statements.

 Though the immigration issue has faded with the economy in the past couple of years, it remains extremely contentious. It should be really interesting to see how the remarks by Mr. Edgar, who has not sought public office for more than a decade, play with other Republicans who are running now, including U.S. Senate hopeful Mark Kirk and GOP gubernatorial nominee Bill Brady.

The conservative Illinois Review blog was not complimentary of Edgar’s comments suggesting he supports amnesty for illegals.

Look for a high pitched debate on this issue.  

More on immigration reform later.

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