The Washington Times - June 7, 2013, 02:26PM

Five former chairmen of the New Hampshire Republican party urged Congress on Friday to pass the comprehensive immigration bill making its way through the Senate, saying that it is good policy and good politics for the GOP.

Steve Duprey, John Stabile, Wayne Semprini, Fergus Cullen and Wayne McDonald said in an op-ed for the New Hampshire Union Leader that they support the “modernization effort led by conservative leaders, including U.S. Sens. John McCain and Marco Rubio, and think the plan deserves backing from other Republicans, too.”

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With the Senate poised to take up the immigration bill next week, the ex-chairs of the New Hampshire GOP said that measure will strengthen the nation’s immigration system, bolster the economy and help Republicans make inroads with the Hispanic voters that swung behind President Obama by a three to one margin in the 2012 election.


SPECIAL COVERAGE: Immigration Reform


The group applauds how the Gang of Eight proposal increases the number of highly-skilled workers coming into the country and provides legal status to the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants — noting “thousands of who live among us as neighbors.”


SPECIAL COVERAGE: Immigration Reform


“We know Americans want improved border security, and this bill includes that. But the most effective way to curb illegal immigration is to make it easier for people to immigrate legally. Give people a choice between a legal path and an illegal path, and they will choose the legal one,” they said.


SPECIAL COVERAGE: Immigration Reform


The group challenged the notion that immigrants take jobs away from Americans, saying that finding the world’s best workers is part of the free market system. And they said it is “simply not true” that illegal immigrants will go on federal welfare.


SPECIAL COVERAGE: Immigration Reform


“We’ve heard others complain that immigrants come to the U.S. to go on welfare. This is simply not true. Undocumented people are not eligible for federal welfare programs, food stamps, or Social Security or Medicare either. If you think too many people are eligible for government support, then take Milton Friedman’s suggestion: Build a wall around the welfare system, not the country,” they said.


SPECIAL COVERAGE: Immigration Reform