Gov. Haley Challenges Candidates on Immigration

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In her State of the Union response Tuesday night, Gov. Nikki Haley (R-SC) underscored the need to “fix our broken immigration system,” and challenged presidential candidates to take a more productive tone on immigration.

Without naming names, Gov. Haley made it clear that Donald Trump’s and Ted Cruz’s nativist comments do not reflect the views of the Republican Party.

“Today, we live in a time of threats like few others in recent memory,” said Haley. “During anxious times, it can be tempting to follow the siren call of the angriest voices. We must resist that temptation.”

Haley also highlighted her family’s own immigrant story and the need for realistic, effective and humane policy solutions.

“I am the proud daughter of Indian immigrants who reminded my brothers, my sister and me every day how blessed we were to live in this country,” Haley said. “Immigrants have been coming to our shores for generations to live the dream that is America.”

“ … No one who is willing to work hard, abide by our laws, and love our traditions should ever feel unwelcome in this country,” she continued. “ … We must fix our broken immigration system. That means stopping illegal immigration. And it means welcoming properly vetted legal immigrants, regardless of their race or religion. Just like we have for centuries.”

Haley’s rebuttal went over well with viewers in a focus group spanning the political spectrum, organized by Republican pollster and analyst Frank Luntz.

“Governor Haley has issued a challenge to Donald Trump and Ted Cruz,” said Ali Noorani, executive director of the National Immigration Forum Action Fund. “It’s time for our presidential candidates to do more than issue nativist calls and unconstitutional musings.

“Governor Haley’s response presents a path forward for both parties on immigration. She’s right. We need legislative action to create an immigration process that honors our values, not divisive rhetoric that undermines them.

“Both parties recognize that our immigration system is broken. Last night, leaders from both parties highlighted the need to work together. Across the country and across the spectrum, they have support for a process that moves all of us forward.”



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