Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

March 19, 2013

Rand Paul endorses immigrant path to citizenship

WASHINGTON — Republican Sen. Rand Paul said Tuesday that illegal immigrants should be allowed to become U.S. taxpayers and ultimately get a shot at citizenship, a significant step for the Tea Party favorite amid growing Republican acceptance of the idea.

“Let’s start that conversation by acknowledging we aren’t going to deport” the millions already here, the potential 2016 presidential candidate told the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. “Prudence, compassion and thrift all point us toward the same goal: bringing these workers out of the shadows and into becoming and being taxpaying members of society.”

It was the latest sign that the Republican Party is moving to broaden its appeal to politically influential Latinos and other ethnic minorities after significant election losses last fall. Paul spoke a day after a Republican National Committee report called on the GOP to support comprehensive reform, though without specifying whether it should include a pathway to citizenship, which is decried by some conservatives as amnesty.

Meanwhile, a bipartisan group of senators is nearing agreement on sweeping legislation to overhaul the nation’s immigration policy, an effort that could get a boost from Paul’s stance.

The Kentucky Republican said for him to support such an approach, a stronger border must come first, and Congress must agree that border security has improved. The path to citizenship he envisions would come with other conditions, too, that would make it long and difficult for illegal immigrants to travel.

“Immigration reform will not occur until conservative Republicans, like myself, become part of the solution. I am here today to begin that conversation and to be part of the solution,” Paul said.

Underscoring the political risks conservative Republicans face in embracing citizenship for illegal immigrants, Paul never used the word “citizenship” in his warmly received 17-minute speech, and aides sought to emphasize that his focus is on border security and on getting illegal immigrants into a probationary legal worker status.

From there, according to his approach, they would have the opportunity after some time to get green cards, the permanent resident visas whose holders become eligible after five years to obtain citizenship.

Paul’s speech was peppered with Spanish phrases from his youth in Texas, references to his immigrant great-grandparents and praise for Latino culture. He said his party must adopt a new face toward Hispanics and conservatives must be part of it.

For Paul, there are political overtones to his newly articulated stance, since he’s viewed as a potential presidential candidate and Hispanics are an increasingly important part of the electorate. Latino voters overwhelmingly backed President Barack Obama last year, helping seal his re-election, and Paul said the GOP needs to reverse that trend or risk “permanent minority status.”

Paul laid out broad elements of a comprehensive immigration overhaul that has some overlap with the approach contemplated by the Senate’s bipartisan Gang of Eight, which hopes to release its legislation next month. The Senate group aims to secure the border, improve legal immigration and boost workplace enforcement, as well as create a pathway to citizenship. In an interview, Paul said he could foresee backing the Senate group’s emerging bill, although he plans to try to amend it on the floor with some of his own ideas.

Like the Senate group, Paul would aim to secure the border before illegal immigrants could begin taking steps toward citizenship, and he emphasized this as a necessary first step to get support from conservatives.

“In order to bring conservatives to this cause, however, those who work for reform must understand that a real solution must ensure that our borders are secure,” Paul said.

He didn’t specify how the border would be made more secure but said the Border Patrol and an inspector general would have to sign off. Congress would also have to agree annually for five years that border security was progressing in order for the other reforms Paul envisions to keep moving forward.

In year two of his plan, illegal immigrants would begin to be issued temporary work visas, and would have to wait for an unspecified period of time in a probationary legal status before getting green cards. A bipartisan panel would determine the number of visas per year. High-tech visas would be expanded and a special visa for entrepreneurs would be issued. Illegal immigrants would not be able to get on a citizenship path ahead of anyone attempting the process legally.

Different from other approaches, Paul would not attempt to crack down on employers by expanding working verification systems, something he says is tantamount to “making every business owner a policeman”

“My plan will not grant amnesty or move anyone to the front of the line,” Paul said. “But what we have now is de facto amnesty.”

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Judge denies renewed motion to dismiss Rosen lawsuit

    A judge has refused to dismiss a former Boyd district and circuit judge’s lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a law that affects his ability to run for re-election this fall.
    In an order entered on Friday, Franklin Circuit Judge Thomas D. Wingate denied a renewed motion to dismiss by current Boyd Circuit Judge George W. Davis III, an intervening respondent in the suit filed in January by Marc I. Rosen.

    April 23, 2014

  • Ashland football players join special-needs students for prom

    The purple chiffon gown and the sparkling tiara are back in the closet four days after the big dance, but Karina McBride still hasn’t stopped talking about Saturday night — the decorations, boys bringing her cups of punch, her first kiss (on the cheek, her mother hastens to interject), and dancing the night away at her first prom.
    “She’s been flying high since that night,” said Michele Woods, who is Karina’s mother and who brought together friends and volunteers to organize a prom for special needs students.

    April 23, 2014

  • Concrete pouring at Putnam

    Workers are pouring concrete foundations at Putnam Stadium and once those are dry and cured will be ready to install seats at the historic arena.
    The workers are putting in 12-hour shifts to keep on schedule to complete the stadium’s reconstruction in time for this fall’s football opener, said site supervisor Craig Chinn of Trace Creek Construction.
    The most visible work is happening on the home-team side of the stadium, where workers Tuesday were setting forms for the cylindrical concrete piers that will support the seats. Once those are poured, cured and inspected they will add the seats.

    April 23, 2014

  • Unique races for Carter magistrates

    Carter County magistrate ballots are full of candidates eager to represent constituents in each of the five districts that make up the county’s fiscal court.
    Of the five seats available, three magistrates are seeking re-election: Clarence “Sonny” Fankell, D-Grayson, District 2; Clifford “Sodbuster” Roe, D-Olive Hill, District 4; and Brandon Burton, R-Olive Hill, District 5.
    The incumbents will each have to battle as many as three opponents in their district primaries next month before they can focus on reclaiming their magistrate titles in the November general election.
    This year’s magistrate race will host a total of 22 candidates, with 11 from Grayson, nine from Olive Hill and two from Denton.

    April 23, 2014

  • Martin County marks 50 years since LBJ visit

    Today marks 5o years since former U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson visited Inez resident Tom Fletcher and promised to end poverty in America on April 24, 1964. On Friday, Inez will be commemorating the occasion with a special event.

    April 23, 2014

  • Trail Town trial run to be in Olive Hill this Sunday

    Olive Hill will participate in a trial run this Saturday in the city’s push to become a certified Kentucky Trail Town.

    April 23, 2014

  • Some area farmers may be eligible for LIP program

    The Grayson  Farm Service Agency, (Boyd, Carter, Elliott and Lawrence) is having registration for the Livestock Indemnity Program to eligible producers who suffered losses beginning Oct. 1, 2011, and subsequent years.

    April 23, 2014

  • News in brief, 04/24/14

    The King’s Daughters Pregancy and Infant Loss Support Group invites families who have experienced the loss of an infant during pregnancy or following birth to participate in a butterfly release and prayer ceremony at 2 p.m. May 10 at the Ashland Central Park fountain.

    April 23, 2014

  • Garner hosting National Day of Prayer activities

    The Garner Missionary Baptist Church will be hosting day long events at the Kyova Mall to commemorate the National Day of Prayer on Thursday, May 1.

    April 23, 2014

  • Flatwoods mayoral debate set for Tuesday

    A public debate among the candidates seeking to become the next mayor of Flatwoods will take place next week.

    April 22, 2014