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Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI) Wants Second-Class Status for Undocumented Immigrants

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Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen several Wisconsin Republicans step up on the issue of citizenship for the undocumented.  Governor Scott Walker supports citizenship. Rep. Paul Ryan is supportive and taking a leading role on immigration in the House. And the American people, including most Republicans, support citizenship.

But, not Rep. Sean Duffy, the former MTV reality star. He’s willing to let the undocumented stay in a perpetual second-class status:

Congress should reform the immigration system to give those here illegally a path to legal status, but that status should stop short of citizenship, U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy said Friday.

Duffy, R-Weston, said in an interview with the Daily Herald Media Editorial Board that the nation’s immigration system is broken and that Congress needs to pass significant changes. He endorsed a way to give undocumented workers and those with roots in the U.S. a form of legal status that would allow them to work and live without fear of deportation but that did not “reward” them with full citizenship.

What’s especially weird is that Duffy was one of only a few House Republicans to explicitly endorse a path to citizenship earlier this year: in May, he said “We can’t send 11 million people back home. We should put them on a path to citizenship.”

And as Greg Sargent noted last week, polling shows that there is “no support” for Duffy’s new position:

Another key finding in the Quinnipiac poll: A majority, 54 percent, support a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, while only 12 percent support allowing them to stay in the U.S. without citizenship (another 28 percent support deportation). In other words, the sub-citizenship status option — the position some Republicans are adopting in order to appear willing to solve the immigration problem while not embracing citizenship — has virtually no public support at all.

Indeed, this position is only supported by 13 percent of Republicans, while the rest of them are split between citizenship and deportation. This position pleases no one.

That’s Duffy’s position, for which there is no support. And we’ll let the words of Duffy’s colleague, Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-AL), in the Wall Street Journal explain what is wrong with that view:

”’I support a pathway to citizenship because I don’t believe we should have a second class of citizens,’ said Rep. Spencer Bachus (R., Ala.). Everyone living in the United States should feel invested in the country, he said. Denying that would create ‘an underclass and I don’t believe that’s what America is all about.’”