In a recent chat on RedState.com, a commenter asked newly elected Rep. Charles Djou (R-HI) — who won a special election in a traditionally Democratic district — his views on Arizona’s harsh new anti-immigration law. Djou responded without taking a specific stance:
As the child of immigrants, I understand that immigration is a positive benefit for our nation. While I support a large open front door to legal immigration in the U.S., that will only work if we close the back door of illegal immigration. I understand Arizona’s frustration — all the more reason Congress must act to address illegal immigration.
Yesterday, ThinkProgress interviewed Djou at his office on Capitol Hill and asked him for further clarification:
Q: Do you think that their new law, SB 1070, was a good idea?
DJOU: I am disappointed that Arizona needed to pass that law. Uh, were I a member of the Arizona state legislature — I fully understand why members of the Arizona state legislature passed it. The reason Arizona needed to do this was the failure and abdication by the federal government to enforce immigration rules and laws, and–
Q: So if you were in the Arizona, you would have voted for it, if you were a state legislator then?
DJOU: Probably, probably, but I’m not a member of the Arizona legislature. Uh, I am however a member of the United States Congress and I think it is incumbent upon the United States Congress and the federal government to enforce the law.