Rand Paul (R-KY) will offer several amendments to the hotly contested immigration bill. “Paul’s most ambitious proposal would eliminate the pathway to citizenship for 11 million illegal immigrants and lift the caps on guest workers.”
One of Paul’s proposals will provide immigrant workers to employers “who can demonstrate need” but the rest of the workers would have to apply for legal permanent residency through existing channels. Another amendment would give Congress the authority, not the Department of Homeland Security, to determine if the border is secure.
Strategists see this as a smart move for the 2016 Presidential race, allowing a possible 2016 candidate Paul to say that he tried to take action against the unpopular immigration proposals now being debated.
“Rand Paul can turn around and say in 2016, ‘Hey guys, I tried to fix it,’ ” said GOP strategist Ford O’Connell, who handled rural outreach for the McCain-Palin ticket in 2008.
Robert Haus, an Iowa-based Republican strategist who worked for Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s (R) 2012 presidential campaign, said Paul’s amendment would give him a political edge.
The move puts him at odds with Marco Rubio (R-FL) who has a high profile position pushing controversial immigration reform. Rubio is thought to have his eye on a possible 2016 Presidential run. Looking at the 2016 Presidential line-up “Steve Deace, a nationally syndicated conservative talk-radio host based in Iowa, said Rubio’s role in the Gang of Eight has significantly hurt his chances of winning the Iowa caucuses in 2016.”
Rubio’s office had no comment on the Paul amendments.