Rand Paul Backs Citizenship for Illegals

Move could be latest groundwork for potential 2016 run
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 19, 2013 9:42 AM CDT
Rand Paul Backs Citizenship for Illegals
Rand Paul leaves a GOP policy meeting on Capitol Hill, March 7, 2013.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Rand Paul is endorsing a pathway to citizenship for the nation's 11 million illegal immigrants, a significant move for a favorite of tea party Republicans who are sometimes hostile to such an approach. "If you wish to live and work in America, then we will find a place for you," the potential 2016 presidential candidate will say in a speech to the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce today, according to an advance copy obtained by the AP.

Paul's path to citizenship would come with conditions that could make it long and difficult for illegal immigrants. Chief among these, Congress would have to agree first that progress was being made on border security. The move puts him in line with many Republicans who have embraced reform in an effort to appeal to Hispanics. Paul's speech is peppered with Spanish phrases from his youth in Texas, references to his immigrant grandparents, and praise for Latino culture. (More Rand Paul stories.)

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