Ohio Gov. John Kasich wants to allow law-abiding undocumented immigrants to achieve legal status, saying many immigrants “contribute a lot to the United States.”

“The 12 million who are here, we ought to find out who they are. If they’ve been law-abiding over a period of time, they ought to be legalized and they ought to be able to stay here,” the Republican presidential candidate told CNN’s “State of the Union” program Sunday.

In the past, Kasich had supported the elimination of “birthright citizenship,” which allows almost all children born in the United States to automatically become citizens, reports The Wall Street Journal. But on CNN, he seemed to back away from that stance, telling show host Jake Tapper that he didn’t “think we need to go there.”

Kasich’s comments came amid a new push on illegal immigration sparked by front-runner Donald Trump’s campaign announcement comments on Mexican immigrants and events that have included the death of Kate Steinle, who was killed by an illegal immigrant while she was walking with her father on a San Francisco pier.

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