March, 21, 2013 Louisville, KY- Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is one of the many Republican lawmakers who are softening their positions on immigration reform and praising a plan that allows undocumented immigrants the opportunity to become naturalized citizens.

rand paul

Previous attempts to overhaul the country’s immigration system have been thwarted by both parties and a number of special interest groups on the left and the right, but this time around a general consensus is forming among a range of diverse groups signaling that immigration reform may very well be possible.

Lending their voice to the herculean effort of changing our inefficient immigration system is potential 2016 presidential candidate Rand Paul who agrees with a pathway to citizenship for many of the 11 million immigrants currently living in the U.S. For those familiar with the prominent Libertarian this may be a surprising move to the left and departure from the position he took last month when he called the immigration plan introduced by the “Gang of Eight” a “bad deal.”

Speaking to a group of Hispanic business owners the Paul criticized his Republican counterparts for their harsh tone on immigration and approves of broad immigrations reform and making it easier for undocumented immigrants to become to become naturalized citizens.

“Somewhere along the line Republicans have failed to understand and articulate that immigrants are an asset to America, not a liability,” Paul said, according U.S. News. “It is absolutely vital the Republican Party must embrace more legal immigration. If you wish to live and work in America, then we will find a place for you.”

Paul though reticent of using the phases “amnesty” or “pathway to citizenship” would like to allow work visas for undocumented immigrants already living in the country and giving them the opportunity to apply for naturalization.

“The modernization of our visa system and border security would allow us to accurately track immigration,” Paul said at the Chamber of Commerce event. “It would also enable us to let more people in, and allow us to admit we are not going to deport the millions of people who are already here.”

Instead of across the board amnesty—a term conservative lawmakers are wary of– Paul believes that undocumented immigrants should be given the opportunity to become citizens after they serve a probationary period.

“The solution doesn’t have to be amnesty or deportation, maybe there’s a middle ground where we call it probation where those who came here illegally—who did break the law—have a period they have to go through called probationary period,” Paul said.

Paul also emphasized the need for a more secure border, but broke with other Republican lawmakers by disapproving of mandatory participation in E-Verify—a federal system that allows employers to check the legal status of applicants and employees.

Rand Paul’s positions on immigration reform are quite a departure from those of his father Ron Paul, who has previously called for banning immigrants from public school and other social services along with eliminating birthright citizenship.

The current immigration system is complex, and can be difficult for an immigrant to navigate. Immigrants in the Louisville area can turn to immigration attorney Rusty O’Brien for all their needs whether they are trying to obtain an H-1B or temporary work visa, trying to fight deportation or helping a family member emigrate.



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