GOP House Whip On Board to Give Legal Status to Immigrants

Image: GOP House Whip On Board to Give Legal Status to Immigrants Rep. Kevin McCarthy

Wednesday, 22 Jan 2014 04:11 PM

By Cynthia Fagen

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The third-ranking House Republican told a California TV station Tuesday that he would throw his political weight behind an immigration reform bill that would give legal status to millions of undocumented immigrants living in the United States but would not endorse citizenship.

"The principles aren't written yet, but in my personal belief, I think it'll go with legal status that will allow you to work and pay taxes," House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy told KBAK/KBF Eyewitness News in Bakersfield.

"That's a decision that every Republican will have to make in laying out the principles, but that's my personal position," the congressman said.

So far, House Republicans have not released details of the hot-button issue. House Speaker John Boehner has said he will tackle immigration reform this year "one step at a time," unlike the sweeping immigration bill passed last year in the Democrat-dominated Senate that would pave the way to citizenship.

Some Republican hardliners are opposed to any kind of reform for the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States.

Immigration advocates have been targeting McCarthy, whose district has a large Hispanic population.

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