There is one Republican presidential candidate who is not quite as hardline and anti-immigrant as some of his colleagues: White House hopeful Chris Christie, the governor of New Jersey. Christie’s more moderate stance on the issue of immigration may come as a surprise to some, given that New Jersey is one of the 26 states suing President Obama over his attempt to use executive action to enact immigration reform.
Last week, during two visits to New Hampshire, Christie seemed to try to differentiate himself from other Republican candidates by straying from the orthodox conservative wisdom on the immigration issue. After avoiding the issue entirely for several months and even refusing to comment during a visit to Mexico in the fall of 2014, Christie revealed a more nuanced view on the topic than asking undocumented immigrants to self-deport as per Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential candidate.
Christie noted that a better way to reduce the number of new arrivals would be to crack down on the employers in the United States that willfully ignore immigration laws and for the president to work with Congress to create a credible solution to the problem.
“The reason people come here is to work,” Christie pointed out. “So if we clamp down on folks who are hiring people in this manner, once we set up a fair system that everyone is signed on to, then I think we’ll really decrease [illegal immigration].” Christie added that it is the president’s job to protect the country’s security and sovereignty.