Vice President Pence and Immigration

The Story:

There have been reports that the Vice President, Michael Pence, is stepping forward within the administration, playing a greater behind-the-scenes role in discussion of immigration issues. This is suggestive, because immigration is one of a small number of policy areas where Pence has a public record that is not especially … Trumpian.

Background:

When he accepted Donald Trump’s offer to join the national Republican ticket in 2016, Pence was serving as the Governor of Indiana. Before that, he had been a member of the House of Representatives, representing Indiana’s 6th district, which borders both Ohio and Kentucky and is reliably Republican terrain.

Rep. Pence, in 2006, offered an immigration reform plan focused on helping US businesses find new employees with the skills they need. It offered illegal immigrants a route by which they could acquire legal immigrant status. Conservative pundit Pat Buchanan disapproved at the time. Buchanan called the Pence plan a “stealth amnesty” proposal. The proposal went nowhere.

The Thing to Know:

It is possible that the rise of Pence represents a schism between this administration and its “base.” The latter remains very hawkish on illegal immigration and hostile toward anything that smacks of amnesty.

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