Chris Christie Refuses To Endorse Hard-Line Approach On Immigration

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has been the darling of the conservative wing of the GOP for his no-nonsense approach to fiscal policy, but they’re not likely to be happy with his stand on immigration:

On the hot-button topic of immigration reform, he said he has long declined to “demagogue” the issue as a former U.S. Attorney, because “I come from law enforcement and it’s not an easy issue.”

But he did intimate that he thinks stringent state-by-state laws – such as in Arizona – are the wrong approach, and added, “I think President Obama doesn’t do this at his own risk because it’s affecting the economy in the country…to me, I think the president’s really gotta show the leadership on this.”

“This is a federal problem, it’s gotta have a federal fix,” he said. “I’m not really comfortable with state law enforcement having a big role.”

He said that without border security, enforcement of existing laws and a “clear” path to legalization for immigrants, there would never be a fix.

Christie’s right, of course, but he’s probably damaged his reputation with the GOP base for speaking honestly.

FILED UNDER: Borders and Immigration, Quick Takes, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Steve Plunk says:

    Honest assessments accompanied with a logical and reasonable arguments will not damage Christie with Republicans. What hurts politicians these days is talking out of both sides of their mouths.

    This is a complex problem but sometimes you have to do what Arizona did just to get the ball rolling. If enforcement of laws is such a bad thing why pass them in the first place. Arizona is empowering enforcement. Now it has become a more talked about issue and federal action is imminent.

  2. sam says:

    “Honest assessments accompanied with a logical and reasonable arguments will not damage Christie with Republicans.”

    Ah, Steve, maybe with folks like you. But you guys — who can be swayed by “logical and reasonable” arguments — are such a minority in Republican party as to be a complete nonfactor. The Zelsdorfs and GAs are the party now, dude. The Rushbots and Beckbots are running the show.

  3. TangoMan says:

    Christie’s right, of course,

    There’s no of course about it. Basically he’s wrong about one of his three points. There doesn’t need to be a clear path to legalization in order to develop a functional immigration and border security enforcement mechanism. Amnesty is an independent variable in the mix and it doesn’t affect the performance of the other two variables nor is it a necessary component to creating a functioning system.

  4. G.A.Phillips says:

    ***The Zelsdorfs and GAs are the party now, dude. The Rushbots and Beckbots are running the show.*** Hot dang, y’all went and learned sumtin.