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posted: 9/7/2013 5:00 AM

GOP should take lead on immigration reform

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As bipartisan groups of political, business, law enforcement and spiritual leaders continue to voice their support throughout Illinois for a common sense overhaul of the federal immigration system, the message to our representatives in Washington is clear: our communities and our state want immigration reform, and they want it now.

While it has become a largely bipartisan issue, the fate of immigration reform now rests in the hands of the Republican majority in the U.S. House, including those of our own Reps. Hultgren and Roskam. But how should we Republicans approach this issue?

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The preamble of the 2012 Platform of the Illinois Republican Party states, "We commit ourselves to the values that strengthen our culture and sustain our nation: family, faith, personal responsibility, and a belief in the dignity of every human life. We offer not only an agenda but also a vision of a welcoming society in which all who yearn for freedom and human dignity have a place."

This simple statement sums up the foundation upon which this nation was built and upon which our party must stand to lead this country forward. As former Chairman of the DuPage County Board, I know that leaders must make tough decisions to fix broken systems; and our immigration system is surely broken. Our high- and low-skill visa rules are outdated, our family-based immigration policies are archaic, and our security measures are unenforced, but keep an entire class of people living in fear.

The people of Illinois and of this great country deserve a Republican Party that lives up to its values, makes tough choices, and ensures that our nation is -- and will forever be -- a welcoming land of hope, freedom, and opportunity to all who seek them. Let's take charge on this pressing issue. Let's act on immigration reform, now.

Robert Schillerstrom

Naperville

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