Former Illinois Governor Jim Edgar says it’s time for Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform. Edgar, who’s a Republican, is now with the University of Illinois’ Institute of Government and Public Affairs. He recently joined a new group called the Illinois Business Immigration Coalition. Its members include Caterpillar CEO Doug Oberhelman and the president of the U of I. Edgar says it should be easier for people living in the country illegally to gain their citizenship, especially if they’ve contributed to society, avoided criminal activity, and found a job.
“This is the best opportunity we’ve had in the political climate, which unfortunately I think has held us up in the past. I think the realization today in both parties is that most Americans want to see this issue dealt with and that we can’t keep shifting it into the shadows and think it’ll go away. It won’t go away. We got to deal with it.”
Edgar praises recent immigration reform efforts, like the proposed federal Dream Act and a new state law allowing people to obtain driver’s licenses, even if they’re living in the country illegally.