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Top Republicans Now Supporting Immigration Reform

CHICAGO (AP) - Some of Illinois' highest-profile Republicans are voicing support for federal immigration legislation that's stalled in the U.S. House as a "morally right" and business-minded decision.  

Tuesday's gathering included former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert, former Gov. Jim Edgar and candidates seeking office, including state Sen. Jim Oberweis. He's a U.S. Senate candidate who's previously made controversial statements about immigrants. 

Oberweis says he regrets those comments and he's in favor of parts of the overhaul that include a pathway to citizenship for immigrants living in the U.S. illegally. 

Organizers say the event sponsored by Illinois Business Immigration Coalition shows a shift in political views on immigration reform. Others say that Republicans are trying to appeal to immigrant and Latino voters, populations that are growing quickly in Illinois. 

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