Congress closer to agreement on illegals

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Sen. Marco Rubio, one of the early frontrunners for the party’s presidential nomination in 2016, is part of the Senate negotiations on writing a bill.

And Mr. Paul, another early presidential frontrunner, added his name to the list of those calling for action — though he laid out his own principles for reform.

He said he wants to see an independent auditor evaluate whether the borders are secure and then have Congress vote on whether to accept that report.

Illegal immigrants now in the U.S., meanwhile, could earn “probationary” status, but wouldn’t be given any new special path to citizenship. Instead, they could take advantage of existing methods.

Mr. Paul said his plan is a middle-ground solution that could attract conservative support while granting immigrants the thing they’ve sought — the chance to live and work in the U.S. with some legal protections.

But Mr. Paul insisted his plan doesn’t grant new citizenship rights, but rather just cancels the current requirement that illegal immigrants return home and wait for years before coming back legally.

“It’s not a new pathway, it’s an existing pathway. And then what we have to figure out is if the existing pathway isn’t working, how do we fix it,” he told reporters after laying out his plan in a speech to the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Mr. Gutierrez said he’s noticed a marked change in conversations on Capitol Hill on immigration this year — including in the House Judiciary Committee, which is controlled by Republicans.

He said even the witnesses Republicans have called during their hearings have shown “a new openness” on the part of the GOP.

“I’ve had a hard time distinguishing between who was invited by Democrats and who was invited by Republicans,” he said.

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