WASHINGTON, March 19 (UPI) —
U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., Tuesday called for giving illegal immigrants visas that would allow them to remain in the United States.
Paul addressed immigration in a speech to a U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce breakfast, The Washington Post reported.
He said giving legal status to immigrants who have been in the United States for a year or two would turn them into taxpayers.
"If you wish to live and work in the United States, then we will find a place for you," he said.
Advance reports on Paul’s speech said he would call for a path to citizenship for undocumented workers. Bu he told the Post he deliberately avoided the phrase because everyone "closes their ears" when they hear "path to citizenship" and "amnesty."
Instead, he suggested those who enter the United States illegally should get the same chance at citizenship as others without having to leave the country to seek legal status.
"Basically what I want to do is to expand the worker visa program, have border security and then as far as how people become citizens, there already is a process for how people become citizens," he told the Post. "The main difference is I wouldn’t have people be forced to go home. You’d just get in line. But you get in the same line everyone is in."