In our prior posts we reported on how some Republicans opposed a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants in the proposed bill for immigration reform. In the time since that last post, it appears that sentiments are slowly changing.
Senator Rand Paul (R-Tennessee), the newest Tea Party favorite and a possible presidential candidate in 2016, endorsed the idea of having a citizenship path for the nearly 11 million people residing in the United States illegally. Paul is expected to elaborate on his position in a speech before the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
According to the Associated Press (who obtained a copy of the speech), Paul will explain that America is a place for immigrants to live and work, but citizenship is a reward that would come with a long list of conditions. He also says that comprehensive reform does not start until conservatives like him become part of the solution.
The AP also noted the apparent political implications of Paul's new position. His endorsement of a citizenship path comes as Republicans are looking for ways to broaden their appeal to Latinos, 70 percent of whom voted for President Barack Obama in the 2012 election. A Republican National Committee report called upon party members to support reform, and the Senate's version of a reform bill has gained enough support that an agreement appears near.
Nevertheless, Paul insists that border security must be a part of any reform package in order to get other conservatives to sign on, but no specifics were mentioned on what changes (if any) would be made to do so. In the meantime, we will continue to monitor the political climate driving the reform bill.
Source: ABC News.com, Rand Paul endorses immigrant path to citizenship, March 18, 2013