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Rauner, other IL GOP Leaders supported pro-immigration policies in 2014


Monday, February 12, 2018  |  Article  |  Illinois Review

Governor (44) , Governors, former (45) , Immigration (99a) Durkin, Jim--State House, 82 , Oberweis, Jim--State Senate, 25 , Radogno, Christine--State Senate, 41

CHICAGO - The new Jeanne Ives' ad featuring victimized family member Brian McCann recalls Governor Rauner's refusal to hear the family member's concerns about protecting those in the state illegally. 

But in all fairness, Governor Rauner's final position of ignoring the families, the Illinois Republican Party platform and signing into law SB 31 shouldn't have been a surprise. There were signals all along that Governor Rauner sided with the Chamber of Commerce's pro-amnesty policy, as far back as April of 2014. 

Rauner made public his support for the immigration community at an event hosted by the Illinois Business Immigration Coalition - as did several other IL GOP leaders, including the late Judy Baar Topinka, Governor Jim Edgar, Governor Jim Thompson, then-Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno and House Minority Leader Jim Durkin. Other leaders included former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert and State Senator Jim Oberweis (R-North Aurora). 

Exelon's then-chairman John Rowe led that April 2014 event, calling for a "pathway to legal citizenship," which has become code for amnesty for those who have broken the law and entered the country illegally.

Radio talk show host and one-term Congressman Joe Walsh led a protest outside the Illinois Business Immigration Coalition event, along with several other longtime illegal immigration opponents.

"If elected politicians don't stand up for the rule of law what good are they?" Walsh said he believed "in his bones" that should amnesty be granted, a third party will be formed the day after.

Despite all the indications of a pro-immigration policy, state Tea Party leaders encouraged conservatives to support then-challenger Bruce Rauner over incumbent Governor Pat Quinn in the November 2014 General Election. Their support, along with the tepid support of Illinois conservative leaders such as Family PAC's Paul Caprio and conservative State Rep. Tom Morrison, Rauner won and Quinn was ousted.

Rauner was sworn into office January 2015.