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 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.

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.