Earlier this week, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul reportedly endorsed a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants. And although Mr. Paul disputes that exact phrasing to describe his speech, it was a notable announcement from the Tea Party conservative as the U.S. Congress debates the issue. Indeed, New York’s own Senator Chuck Schumer, part of a bipartisan octet negotiating a comprehensive immigration bill, praised the move last night.
“I think the bottom line is having Rand Paul come out for something not that far away from our group of eight is really helpful,” Mr. Schumer said on Inside City Hall. “After all, he’s the hard right. He’s the Tea Party. And if he can be for it, so can most Republicans. And that gives me a lot of hope we can pass a bill in both the Senate and the House. And the House will be even tougher than the Senate.”
In the same interview, Mr. Schumer also said he was “heartened” by the Republican National Committee’s recent call for an immigration policy overhaul. He did cast doubt, however, on whether the party’s congressional leadership will follow the organization’s suggestions.
“I was heartened to see that in the Republican report, they called for immigration reform,” he explained. “The bottom line is this, that no party can win if it appeals to only one segment of America. We are a big, broad, diverse nation and the parties that try to help a broad cross-section of people have a built-in advantage. Any party that writes off 25, 30, 35 percent of the American people is not going to be a winner. So I thought the Republican National Committee was right to issue the report, but the $64,000 question is will the Republican leadership follow through or will they sort of stay in their foxholes and ignore the lessons of 2012?”