March 19th, 2013
05:51 PM ET
2 years ago

Rand Paul attempts to clarify position on pathway to citizenship

(CNN) - Sen. Rand Paul reiterated Tuesday afternoon that he's not calling for a new pathway to citizenship in his immigration proposal, but he's not planning to stand in the way of any undocumented workers who want to eventually become citizens, either.

"It doesn't get you in a green card line. It gets you in a line to enter the country legally to become a citizen like everybody else who wants to come from around the world to be a citizen," he said on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer."

In a speech to the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce earlier in the day, Paul stated that he's not in favor of deporting the country's 11-12 million undocumented immigrants and instead argued for a plan that would give work visas to those who came to the country illegally. A congressional panel would determine how many visas would be given each year.

The plan would bring "these workers out of the shadows and into becoming and being taxpaying members of society," Paul said in his speech.

Some reports, however, questioned whether he was supporting a pathway to citizenship, a proposal backed by a bipartisan group of senators in Congress.

Asked specifically Tuesday if he was in favor of allowing undocumented workers to one day become citizens, Paul said he supports the idea if workers want to apply for citizenship in the traditional manner.

"But you don't get to get in front of anyone in the line," he said.

"I'm simply saying you can get a work visa and you can get in the normal line," he added. "I'm not creating a new line for citizenship. I'm just saying you can get in the current line that exists. The only thing I'm saying is you don't have to go home."

– CNN Political Reporter Shannon Travis contributed to this report.

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Filed under: Immigration • Rand Paul • Senate • TV-The Situation Room
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. nothing new here

    Rand Paul should stick to ending the war on drugs.

    March 19, 2013 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  2. plain&simple

    Didn't think libertarians believed in lines! Sounds like big government. Cut immigration budgets,let people work who will work for the lowest wages! Free market right? Oh wait not popular with who I'm trying to gain power with....better twist myself into something that will get me elected!!!

    March 19, 2013 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  3. trev

    Im glade the republican party has a candidate that stands for individual right, small buisnesses, and liberty. The fact that hes making plans for immigration reform, and doing it the right way just goes to show how the liberties he protects are not only bipartisan but also constitutional. first time in a while that the republican party has produced a candidate that i really like.

    March 19, 2013 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  4. Drew

    I think Rand should explain his stance on Israel. You know how much the GOP loves Israel saying that you want to end financial aid to them. I am surprised there hasn't been pandemonium in the GOP ranks over that.

    March 19, 2013 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  5. Getoverit

    So does this include the 2,000 criminal illegals running about, free in this country?

    March 19, 2013 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  6. Don

    And the flip-flopping begins, AGAIN.

    March 19, 2013 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  7. ghostriter

    "It doesn't get you in a green card line. It gets you in a line to enter the country legally to become a citizen like everybody else who wants to come from around the world to be a citizen," he said on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer."

    Question: What is a typical republican two step.....deny an idea from a democrat as impossible....present the same idea as your own......and when they ask you why you flip flopped, you say it's not the same.....it's just not different....

    March 19, 2013 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  8. Joe Wooten

    I meant what I meant, cept' for the part that wasn't what I meant....uhhh...let me start over...

    March 19, 2013 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  9. Bill

    The Aqua Buddha speaks out of both sides of his mouth. A buffoon, at best.

    March 19, 2013 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  10. john

    Who really cares what this "flash in the pan" thinks. He is just amending his position to appeal to the most amount of voters.
    Spare us the baloney.

    March 19, 2013 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  11. Name Carl

    CPAC Should stand for CRAZY PEOPLE ACTING CRAZY. I Never heard do much Hate toward minorites and our President. Shameful....

    March 19, 2013 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  12. Jan

    Isn't it over 3 years TOO EARLY to start with the clarifications? Ranting Rand already seated in the clown car.

    March 19, 2013 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  13. t

    ....we have this CLOWN......until the 2016 POTUS race where he earms a .........31/2 % of the vote........

    March 19, 2013 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  14. Russ

    Say what? Talk about a bunch of double talk. All I can say is if this is the best the Republicans have to throw at the Democrats in the next Presidential election, I'm trying not to laugh here, then the Democrats could have Honey Boo Boo on the ticket and still win.

    March 19, 2013 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  15. Vence

    The hard to eat immigration questions. Hope Paul support in full if he wants to have a chance in 2016!

    March 19, 2013 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  16. John

    Enforce current laws and follow the law for citizenship. Don't like it? Tough crap, try another country. Why encourage criminals exactly??

    March 19, 2013 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  17. PJ

    Randy wants it both ways. He is pandering to the right wing GOP while trying to fool the Hispanics.

    March 19, 2013 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  18. penguin

    Our ancestors simply came over by the boatload (literally) and were admitted and given an easily attainable path to citizenship. We wouldn't be in this mess if if INS had a path to entering our country that did not take several years.

    March 19, 2013 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  19. Martha in CF

    Rand Paul is the typical redumblican. Says one thing in the morning and reverses it by the afternoon. UNREAL.....

    March 19, 2013 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  20. Jeb

    Clarify? It's pretty clear that Paul is a nut case.

    March 19, 2013 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  21. Thomas

    The Aqua Buddha attempts to clarify position on pathway to citizenship.

    Dose the senator listen to Justin Timberlake ?

    March 19, 2013 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  22. Randy, San Francisco

    Change comes very slowly to the Republican Party. Sen Paul is fllip flopping like Jeb Bush on the pathway to citizenship issue. This signals the Tea Party and anti-immigrant reform factions of the party still have a strangle hold on the party. Reform minded and establishment Republicans have a fight on their hands.

    March 19, 2013 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |