A top House Democrat who has been one of the most vocal advocates of amnesty said Friday that the GOP leadership’s “immigration principles” document that was unveiled Thursday does not rule out citizenship for the country’s illegal immigrants.
“You know what, the Republicans aren’t saying they must permanently stay in the status,” Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) reportedly said on a conference call in reference to the “probationary” work permits that may be proposed in future legislation. “That is not what they are saying. So there isn’t any permanent second-class citizenship, as I’ve read. Now a lot of this is going to be in the specifics.”
The GOP leadership’s “Standards of Immigration Reform” document, which lacked specific details as Gutierrez noted, states that there will be no “special pathway to citizenship” for the country’s illegal immigrants.
Gutierrez’s interpretation that illegal immigrants may ultimately be put on a path to citizenship is exactly what Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) suggested Wednesday. Gutierrez has said Ryan was his “ally” in his quest to legalize all of the country’s illegal immigrants.
Chuck Todd, the host of MSNBC’s Daily Rundown, pressed Ryan on Wednesday about whether citizenship was on the table and will ever be available to illegal immigrants. On that occasion, “Ryan asserted that this was not a ‘special pathway to citizenship’ without denying that it was a potential path for all the country’s illegal immigrants to earn citizenship.”