Congressional Candidates Differ on Immigration

Article excerpt

Byline: Mike Riopell Daily Herald Staff Writer

Editor's note: This is the second in a weekly series of stories examining where 10th Congressional District candidates stand on the issues. The series can be read at dailyherald.com.

After months of vocal debate and well-publicized marches across the country and Chicago suburbs, it's not surprising both candidates for the 10th Congressional District seat say immigration is a top issue.

Where they disagree is how to tackle it.

Congressman Mark Kirk, a Highland Park Republican, recently voted for a measure in the House that calls for penalties for illegal immigrants and employers who hire them. He also backs the idea of constructing a barrier along the U.S. southern border with Mexico.

Democrat Dan Seals of Wilmette thinks that approach is flawed and says his views more reflect a Senate plan establishing a "path to citizenship" for illegal immigrants already living in this country.

Seals says some immigrants should be allowed to obtain temporary visas and given the opportunity to gain citizenship if they pay a penalty fee and don't have criminal records.

While Kirk voted for penalties against illegal immigrants and their employers, he echoes many Republican candidates in saying the national discussion on those policies can happen only after the border has been secured. …