tags: , , , , Blog, Press Releases

Here’s a “Big Idea”: Chris Christie Not “Telling It Like It Is” on Immigration

Share This:

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is set to announce his official candidacy for the president this morning, joining the crowded Republican field.  As the Washington Post reported yesterday, the Christie campaign wants to drive “the national conversation” by unveiling a series of “big ideas,” including on immigration, and will use a slogan of “Telling it like it is.”  Yet on immigration, Gov. Christie has been engaged in some transparent political backtracking from his past moderate views on immigration – including signing an in-state tuition bill for New Jersey – and, instead of “telling it like it is,” seems to be “telling it like he thinks Republican primary voters want to hear.” (Click here for a detailed backgrounder on Chris Christie and immigration)

Most notably, while Gov. Christie once supported a path to citizenship, he last month called a pathway to citizenship an “extreme way to go.”  Gov. Christie also dismissed Hillary Clinton’s immigration positions as “pandering” to Latino voters, despite the fact that Clinton’s immigration reform stance corresponds to the preference of two-thirds of Americans (the polling numbers climb even higher when the public is presented with the specific requirements undocumented immigrants have to satisfy in order to earn citizenship over time).

Meanwhile, Gov. Christie also signed onto a legal brief challenging President Obama’s immigration executive actions – despite the fact that his home state of New Jersey has more than 200,000 potential beneficiaries of executive action.  In recent weeks, Gov. Christie has further muddled his immigration positions by rejecting the notion of “self-deportation” and the wisdom of building a fence along the southwest border, but simultaneously endorsing mandatory E-Verify and refusing to provide additional specifics about his policies for undocumented immigrants beyond his opposition to a path to citizenship and executive action.