Michigan Republican Gov. Rick Snyder announced his support for efforts to pass a comprehensive overhaul of federal immigration laws, days after a bipartisan group of senators unveiled a blueprint for a reform bill that proponents hope will pass by summer.
Snyder declared his support during an interview on BloombergTV Tuesday and released a statement Wednesday urging action to offer a path to citizenship for "qualified" illegal immigrants.
"I am pleased to see that the president and a bipartisan group of congressional leaders are moving forward on this issue, focusing on areas of agreement to reform U.S immigration policy in a comprehensive manner," Snyder said in the statement. "I am looking forward to working with the president, Congress and my fellow Governors to see that legislation is enacted this year to ensure our borders are secure, that employers have an adequate system by which to verify employees are in the country legally, and that there is a tough, but fair, path to citizenship for qualified undocumented immigrants which would include background checks, restitution and other steps."
Snyder has long argued for increasing the number of available work visas offered to high-skilled foreign workers, but his support for the broader immigration reform on a national scale could be an encouraging sign for Republican lawmakers working on the issue, who face an uphill battle bringing a wide coalition of conservatives on board.