Tillis said he understood the motives of many people who come to the United States illegally, especially people who are fleeing drug gang violence in Mexico, but supported immediate deportation of any immigrant convicted of breaking the law.
He also understood the need to control immigration, and said that ultimately it is the responsibility of the federal government. At the same time, he said farmers depend on the immigrant labor, and Tillis noted Georgia passed such restrictive laws that many produce farmers couldn’t get any workers into the fields in time and their harvests rotted.
This should also be taken in the context of the Obama administration's decision to focus on criminals and to review 300,000 cases and possibly even give work permits to those without criminal records. A focus on criminals is a welcome step. From a more local perspective, I am also glad to see that the Republican leadership in North Carolina is taking a realistic approach to the issue. Poorly thought out legislation leaves you in the position of Georgia, where the legislature did not even bother doing a study about the consequences, and so scrambled to do so after the fact when those consequences became more obvious.