George Pataki is one of the seemingly dozens of people who have announced that he’s running for president on the Republican side. One of the reasons George Pataki thinks he can outpace the rest of the field, despite being a long shot, is because as the former governor of New York, he has better bonafides when it comes to dealing with minorities than his counterparts. One problem with that tactic is that the GOP governor has had to run to the right since he started thinking about the campaign, and that has put him in direct conflict with the very people he wants to vote for him.
When President Barack Obama announced the executive order on immigration that, among other things, allowed children of illegal immigrants who were brought here at a young age to get special access to services and programs they were denied before, George Pataki came out in opposition. That group of people, usually known as Dreamers, are now going to be a thorn in the side of the George Pataki presidential campaign.
At the same time, George Pataki isn’t lying when he says that his position on immigration, especially for the millions who are already here, differs from most on his side of the aisle.
“I believe it’s totally unrealistic if we think we’re going to take 11 million people and send them back where they came from,” he said at an Iowa forum, according to the AP. “We do have to find a way for the vast majority of them to legalize their status here.”
As the Latin Times points out, it was George Pataki who helped to make it possible for undocumented immigrants to pay in-state tuition to New York Universities back in 2002. Other states have been following suit ever since, but New York was one of the first, and that was thanks in large part to George Pataki.
The question now is whether or not the Dreamers are going to be able to or even want to see past his campaigning in 2015 and look at what he did when he was actually governing. For a group feeling as though they are always under attack, it can’t be easy to see someone considered an ally like George Pataki switching to an apparent enemy. Already considered a long shot, George Pataki is going to have to shore up his Dreamer vote if he wants to stay in the race.
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