From WILL - News Local/State -

Former Gov. Edgar Calls for Immigration Reform

Former Illinois Governor Jim Edgar says it is time for Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform.

Edgar, who is a Republican, is now with the University of Illinois’ Institute of Government and Public Affairs.

He recently joined a new group called the Illinois Business Immigration Coalition. Its members include the C.E.O. of Peoria-based Caterpillar and the president of the U of I.

Edgar said it should be easier for people living in the country illegally to gain their citizenship, especially if the ha’ve contributed to society, avoided criminal activity, and found a job.

“This is the best opportunity we’ve had in the political climate, which unfortunately I think has held us up in the past," he said. "I think the realization today in both parties is that most Americans want to see this issue dealt with and that we can’t keep shifting it into the shadows and think it’ll go away. It won’t go away. We got to deal with it.”

Edgar praised recent immigration reform efforts, like the proposed federal Dream Act and a new state law allowing people to obtain driver’s licenses, even if they’re living in the country illegally.