As Congressional lawmakers have returned home to their respective districts, ABC News reported that many Republicans are becoming more supportive of a pathway to citizenship. At least three representatives – Daniel Webster, Aaron Schock and Kevin McCarthy – have announced a support for undocumented immigrants to receive legal status.
Webster and Schock support a pathway to citizenship with certain pre-conditions. According to the source, there are 21 House Republicans supporting a way to legal status. Webster is considered one of 23 “swing” House Republicans, which means they could go one way or another on immigration reform. He was already set up as a target for immigration advocates to meet with while he was home for recess.
“We’re a nation of immigrants, there’s no question about that,” Webster said in an interview with the Orlando Sentinel. “But we’re also a nation of laws. I think we have to honor both of those.”
Webster’s support for a pathway comes with several prerequisites including border security with 90 percent operational control verified by the Government Accountability Office and e-verify. These two measures were included in the Senate’s bill that passed in June, ABC reported. The representative also supports local government enforcement of immigration laws.
Schock, an Illinois representative, said he supports legal status for undocumented immigrants as long as border security is increased, back taxes by those immigrants are paid, they have no criminal history, there is a probation period and they must go behind those who are obtaining citizenship legally.
McCarthy, who is House GOP whip, came out in support of a guest-worker program that would allow the undocumented to work toward legal status.
Fourth GOP Congressman Announces Support for Pathway
Republican Representative Dave Reichert of Washington came out in support of a pathway to citizenship for the undocumented, according to The Washington Post. He also wants other restrictions put in place.
“We have got to secure the border; once that’s done we’ve got to also, and you set a date certain, coming over to this country after a certain date you will be held accountable and responsible to the laws of this country,” Reichert said during an interview with radio station KVI AM 570.