““If you wish to work, if you wish to live and work in America, then we will find a place for you,” Paul said in an address to the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, pledging to be “part of the solution” on immigration reform.
While it has been widely reported that Paul backed a pathway to citizenship, the Kentucky Republican never used the word “citizenship” in his speech. Instead, he argued for a solution besides “amnesty or deportation” and said conservative Republicans should start by “acknowledging we aren’t going to deport 12 million illegal immigrants.”
In a statement, Paul spokeswoman Eleanor May said Paul’s plan was not a path to citizenship.
The Associated Press had obtained an advance copy of the speech before it was delivered and wrote that Paul believes illegal immigrants “should be allowed to become U.S. taxpayers and ultimately get a shot at citizenship.”
“”Prudence, compassion and thrift all point us toward the same goal: bringing these workers out of the shadows and into becoming and being taxpaying members of society.”
Paul spoke a day after a Republican National Committee report called on the GOP to support comprehensive reform. …
Meanwhile, a bipartisan group of senators is nearing agreement on sweeping legislation to overhaul the nation’s immigration policy, an effort that could get a boost from Paul’s stance.
The Kentucky Republican said for him to support such an approach, a stronger border must come first, and Congress must agree that border security has improved. The path to citizenship he envisions would come with other conditions, too, that would make it long and difficult for illegal immigrants to travel.