Newspaper article Roll Call

3 GOP Reasons for Immigration Revamp -- in 1 Day!

Newspaper article Roll Call

3 GOP Reasons for Immigration Revamp -- in 1 Day!

Article excerpt

The dam may be crumbling in front of the reservoir of Republican resistance to an immigration overhaul that allows almost 11 million people now in the country illegally to get on the road toward citizenship.

Three significant cracks have emerged in the past 24 hours, potentially the most important one this morning. Rand Paul, who's made plain his interest in becoming the tea party's next presidential candidate, spoke emphatically in favor of that idea in a speech to the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. "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," the Kentucky senator said.

One day earlier, an embrace of "comprehensive immigration reform" -- the code phrase for a policy overhaul that includes eventual citizenship for illegals -- was the singular legislative policy proposal included in the Republican National Committee's recommendations for spurring a GOP revival, which was otherwise entirely about campaign tactics, rhetorical shifts and branding.

Also on Monday, a coalition called Evangelical Immigration Table, which includes some the country's most prominent conservative Christian groups, for the first time explicitly urged Congress to put "clear steps to citizenship" for illegal immigrants in any overhaul package.

Beyond the breadth of support represented by that trio, it's important to note that they offered somewhat different rationales for their new-found stances. Paul said he was interested in growing the economy, boosting the federal tax base and improving the American work ethic, declaring, "I've never met a new immigrant looking for a free lunch." The RNC conceded that the endorsement was a bow to its horrible standing in the polls with Latinos. "If we do not," its 100-page report warned, "our party's appeal will continue to shrink to its core constituencies only. …

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