Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) suggested that Republican candidates in this year’s midterm elections should run on granting a pathway to citizenship for all of the country’s illegal immigrants.
Ryan, who had reportedly been working behind the scenes with Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) to get House Republicans to support a broader immigration bill, said that he was “having problems” convincing conservatives to support immigration reform, which he said was “very important.”
In a Wednesday interview with Bloomberg News, Ryan said he supported a “path to legalization” for all of the country’s illegal immigrants. He said illegal immigrants should be able to “earn citizenship” after they go to the back of the line and not cut in front of legal immigrants.
When asked if he was saying that if illegal immigrants “do a series of things,” they “can stay here legally forever,” Ryan replied, “They can always get a work permit that is renewed indefinitely.” When asked if he would “like to see Republican candidates run on that in this election cycle,” Ryan replied, “I’m putting it right here in my book.”
A plurality of Americans in multiple national polls have said they would be less likely to vote for candidates who support amnesty legislation.
When asked if he would urge “talk radio hosts who support your party,” Republican candidates, the GOP leadership, and “everyone” to support a “policy that says those 12 million people, if they do a series of things, can stay here,” Ryan said, “This is what I think we should do; otherwise, I wouldn’t have put it in my book.”
Ryan said that illegal immigrants should be put on probation, “get right with the law,” come out of the shadows, and earn their ability to stay in the country legally.
The Congressional Budget Office determined that giving amnesty to all the country’s illegal immigrants would lower the wages of American wages, and a recent Reuters poll found that 70% of Americans feel illegal immigrants threaten U.S. beliefs and customs. In addition, nearly 45% want fewer immigrants, while 63% of Americans feel that massive immigration threatens America’s economy. A recent poll from The Polling Company found that a majority of likely voters want to hit the pause button on massive immigration, as Breitbart News reported. An overwhelming majority in that poll feel that U.S. employers must do more to give preference to American workers and legal immigrants who are already in the country. As Breitbart News also reported, 90% of likely voters feel that “U.S.-born workers and legal immigrants already here should get first preference for jobs,” and even strong majorities of those who support legalization and a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants feel that “jobs now held by illegal immigrants should go to American workers.”