A group that wants to reduce the number of immigrants to the United States is pushing candidates and members of Congress to sign its pledge not to support work permits or legal status for illegal immigrants, and it’s criticizing Rep. Renee Ellmers for not signing it.
The U.S. Immigration Reform Political Action Committee, in a news release Friday, said it backed Ellmers’ opponent in next Tuesday's Republican primary, Frank Roche, who has also been attacking her on immigration policy. Roche signed the pledge.
The pledge is a promise never to vote for legislation that would grant work legal status for people who entered the United States without documentation. It goes on to say: “I further acknowledge that attaching conditions to the awarding of legal status to such persons, such as admitting violating immigration laws, paying fines, learning English, etc. does not change the fact that the action constitutes amnesty.”
The Hill reported on Friday that the pledge is modeled on anti-tax activist Grover Norquist’s pledge that made lawmakers promise never to raise taxes. Laura Ingraham, the conservative radio host, is tracking who signs it, the paper said. Ellmers in March got into an on-air argument with Ingraham, who accused Ellmers of sounding like a liberal.
Ellmers wrote in a commentary this year that she is opposed to amnesty but favors “earned legal work status” for those who pay a penalty, admit to violating the law and verify their identity.