Jim Oberweis, the Republican nominee for United States Senate, claims to be "so sorry" for his past "hawkish" and "harsh" stands on the issue of immigration reform, according to Natasha Korecki of the Chicago Sun Times. Oberweis claims to be a changed man on the issue of immigration reform.
This is the same Oberweis who gained national notoriety for a controversial television ad that ran in 2004. The spot featured Oberweis in a helicopter hovering over Soldier Field, warning that there were enough illegal immigrants to fill that stadium.
But now, Oberweis is claiming to change his ways on the issue of immigration reform.
Speaking at the Illinois Business Immigration Coalition alongside many prominent Illinois Republicans, Oberweis says he has evolved on the issue over the last decade. According to the Chicago Sun Times Natasha Korecki, former Gov. Jim Edgar, former U.S. House Speaker Denny Hastert and Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner joined Oberweis at the event.
However, Oberweis may have lost the "harsh" tone he once espoused on immigration reform, but when it comes to "S. 744 – Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act," for Oberweis it is no dice. Oberweis opposes the bill, which Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin voted in the affirmative.
If Oberweis is to be believed, and there is no reason not to believe him given his past opposition, Oberweis would have voted "no" on S. 744. In the next Congress, that bill will have to be voted upon once again and Oberweis will vote "no."
That is in spite of the fact that the bill passed the United States Senate in a bipartisan manner, by a margin of 68-32. Fourteen Republicans joined the Democrats in passing the measure out of the U.S. Senate.
That was June 24, 2013 and the bill is still awaiting passage in the House of Representatives.
Oberweis is joined in his objection to "S. 744 – Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act," by Bruce Rauner, the Republican candidate for governor of Illinois.
The claim is that "they would prefer a piecemeal approach that begins with reinforcing border security." That is in spite of the fact that the bill contains provisions for border security. That provision is what brought the fourteen Republicans aboard in the U.S. Senate.
“Early on, I spoke up forcibly on the need to secure our borders and bring immigration into this country under the rule of law,” Oberweis said. “I regret the harsh tone of my rhetoric 10 years ago. But my principles remain intact.”
However, harsh tone or not, the fact is that there is a bill ready for passage that meets all of the Republican objections.
That harsh tone may be gone. The opposition to immigration reform is still there, opposing a bill ready to be passed and go to the president for his signature.
Same old Oberweis.
But he is so nice about his opposition.
Chicago Sun Times - Oberweis apologizes, GOP backs immigration reform