- The Washington Times - Monday, April 28, 2014

Rep. Joe Barton, Texas Republican, plans to introduce legislation that would grant a pathway to citizenship to children of illegal immigrants and legal status for adults who entered the country illegally who haven’t been convicted of other crimes, the Dallas Morning News reports.

Mr. Barton reportedly told a local NBC affiliate that the plan would place a heavy emphasis on border security, but it would also include a path for “minor children” to become citizens and a guest worker program for immigrants.

He said he anticipated bipartisan support for the plan, which would also provide a path for adults to achieve legal status, but not citizenship.

“If the only illegal act they [committed] was coming in the country without proper documentation, we put them on a path to legalization, not citizenship,” Mr. Barton said. “Republicans need to start talking about it. I’m a part of the majority party in the largest state that’s still Republican and I want to keep it that way.”

The debate over immigration has resurfaced in recent days after House Speaker John A. Boehner lampooned members of his own conference and their unwillingness to move on the issue last week.

Mr. Boehner and many in the GOP have advocated a step-by-step approach on the issue, pushing individual bills on border security and other issues. They have rejected a broad overhaul of the country’s immigration laws passed by the Democrat-led Senate last year that also would provide an eventual path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the country right now.