Rand Paul Supports a Path to Citizenship. He Just Won’t Call It That.
When Sen. Rand Paul announced his immigration plan earlier today, confusion reigned as to whether he supports a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, or just legal status.
But later the Kentucky Republican tried to clear things up with reporters on a conference call. Now it’s evident that Paul does indeed support a path to citizenship, but he just doesn’t want to call it that because it is a politically-loaded term.
“The immigration debate has been trapped by two terms: pathway to citizenship and amnesty,” Paul said. ”Can’t we have reform and just not call them by the names that have prevented things from going forward?”
When people use the word “path to citizenship,” Paul added, ”then everyone closes their ears and we don’t hear any more.”
Under Paul’s plan, undocumented immigrants could apply for legal status and work permits. Once the border is deemed secure, Paul said he would be open to those immigrants pursuing citizenship as long as they don’t skip ahead of people who came to the U.S. legally and seeking citizenship. Other details, he said, would have to be worked out.
“If they want to be citizens, I am open to debate as to what we do to move forward.”
Read more about Paul’s plan here.
(Photo: Flickr, Gage Skidmore)