In a Fox News interview on Monday, potential GOP presidential candidate Chris Christie said that it would be an “extreme way to go” to offer a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, and called Hillary Clinton’s call for further amnesty protections political “pandering”.
Christie’s comments this week contrast what he said in 2010, that the federal government should “put forward a common sense path to citizenship for people.”
As Governor of New Jersey, Christie’s record on immigration has been relatively moderate. In 2013, he signed legislation to let undocumented N.J. residents pay in-state tuition for schools of higher education.
Before Christie was elected governor in 2009, he served as U.S. Attorney for New Jersey, and also demonstrated a moderate stance on illegal immigration by not seeking deportation as much as some of his colleagues. He called undocumented people “civil offenders,” not illegals.
Chris Christie isn’t the only Republican presidential candidate who has changed his tune on this issue. Both Marco Rubio and Scott Walker, currently polling in the top three for the nomination, have also indicated they are now less likely to support immigration reform, which includes a provision for amnesty, then they were before.
On Monday, Christie also said that he endorses reauthorizing the Patriot Act, set to expire at the end of the month, and that his campaign for re-election against Barbara Buono (a female Democrat) in 2013, gives him the experience necessary to run against Hillary Clinton in 2016.
[Wall Street Journal] [CNN]