Sen. Simpson Breaks Ranks With GOP on Aid to Immigrants

<i> From Associated Press</i>

Sen. Alan Simpson, one of the most influential Republican voices on immigration matters, opposes cutting off federal benefits to legal immigrants and limiting education for illegal immigrants, a newspaper reported today.

“It’s almost like they don’t understand what a permanent resident alien is,” Simpson told the New York Times, criticizing GOP proposals to cut off aid to immigrants living in the United States legally. “The only thing they can’t do that you and I can is vote. Period.”

In an interview with the newspaper, the Wyoming senator expressed views that run counter to the main tenets of the House Republicans’ plans for immigration reform under their “contract with America.”


Simpson said he is opposed to denying public education to illegal immigrants, a major provision of California’s Proposition 187, which was passed by voters last month but has been put on hold by a federal judge.

He also said he plans to seek the repeal of a 1966 federal law that gives Cubans preferential treatment in getting permanent resident status, according to the newspaper.

In the past, Simpson has called for the number of immigrants allowed into the United States to be lowered from 675,000 people a year to 500,000.

He also favors a national identity card system.