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Kasich: I Would ‘Prefer’ Illegal Immigrants Be ‘Legalized’

Ohio Governor and Republican presidential candidate John Kasich stated that he would “prefer” for illegal immigrants in the US “to be legalized once we find out who they are” in an interview broadcast on CNN’s “The Lead” on Wednesday.

Kasich said of illegal immigrants already in the US, “I would prefer for them to be legalized once we find out who they are, Because they — I think they contribute a lot to America. They’re hard workers, they’re god-fearing, they’re family-oriented. If they committed a crime, they’ve got to be deported or put in prison. The only reason I say that is, we have to solve this, but I don’t favor citizenship. … I don’t favor it and I’m not sure we would ever have to do that. Let’s make citizenship getting in here legally, that’s my view on it. But I’m just not going to pound the table on all these things and say, ‘My way or the highway.’ I mean, I will on some things, but I’ve got to be careful about that. Because you know what, I actually think about what it would be to be president. So, do you ever notice when people run for president, they make lots of promises and they never keep them?”

Kasich also discussed moving away from his support for ending birthright citizenship, stating the move was because “I don’t believe it should be a fundamental part of this whole thing because I think it remains dividing people, to be honest with you. And look, Congressman from Ohio, somebody says if somebody comes in illegally and they have a kid, is the kid a citizen, maybe we shouldn’t to do that. But I think we need to get over that. I’m not for it anymore. Let these people who were born here be citizens, and that’s the end of it. I don’t want to dwell there anymore.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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