As the full Senate begins to engage in substantive deliberations over immigration reform, Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and the Republican-leaning political group Crossroads GPS have announced their qualified support for Immigration Reform. Sen. Ayotte, appearing on CBS’s “Face the Nation” Sunday, announced she would support the immigration reform bill proposed by the bipartisan Senate “Gang of Eight.”
Perhaps more significant, is the support from Crossroads GPS, who paid for a newspaper advertisement to run online, in the Wall Street Journal, Roll Call, The Hill, and Politico, urging Congress to pass immigration reform because “failure to enact meaningful reform will only perpetuate an unacceptable status quo of porous borders, inconsistent law enforcement, a byzantine worker visa system, and an America that lags behind in the global race for talent.” The support of the group is notable because the ad was signed by 53 business leaders and notable Republicans, including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Karl Rove. Crossroads GPS is a non-profit affiliated with the Republican-leaning Super PAC American Crossroads. While supporting the overall effort to pass an immigration reform bill, Crossroads listed several requirements that could prove contentious, including prohibiting immigrant eligibility for welfare and health care benefits and moving the U.S. from a chain based migration system to a merit based system. Despite these qualifications, gaining support for broad immigration reform from leading Republicans can only be encouraging to immigration reform supporters, who will face steep opposition from the right-wing conservative members of Congress.