A follow-up to this post on Haley Barbour being perhaps the most influential Republican trying to push his party leftward on immigration: Carly Fiorina, the ex-HP CEO who's running for Senate in California, cuts against the party line as well.
During her first debate with Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer this week, Fiorina said she would support the DREAM Act, a piece of legislation that grants a conditional path to citizenship for the children of illegal immigrants, provided they graduate college or serve in the military.
While Fiorina also said she opposes "amnesty," she's previously made arguments similar to Barbour's, telling TechCrunch in January that the U.S. needs to attract workers:
Ms. FIORINA: Well, I think it is always good to attract hardworking people from other countries to come here to build their dreams. I mean, this is, after all, a country that has benefited enormously from being the place people want to come. And, of course, we should make it - we should be welcoming and make it easier for tech entrepreneurs or for legal immigrants of any kind to come to this country temporarily on a visa or permanently as legal immigrants. It's to our advantage. And the reality is that even if we completely fixed our education system, which is, of course, a huge priority and we're falling further and further behind in basic skills like Math and Science and Engineering, even if we fixed that situation, we still will benefit from and need people with the ambition and the skills to contribute to our key industries.
Comments like these aren't controversial, per se, because they deal with legal immigration. And they were made to a tech blog, and the tech industry is more concerned with attracting highly skilled workers than it is about border security. But Fiorina's stances are notable because the Republican Party's rhetoric on immigration has been so ... anti-immigration. The rhetoric is all about border security and keeping illegals out.
Contrast Fiorina with former eBay CEO Meg Whitman, the Republican gubernatorial candidate in California, who tacked rightward on immigration in the face of attacks from primary opponent Steve Poizner, who accused Whitman of being soft on immigration and touted his own support for Arizona's new law.