A growing number of Republicans in the House of Representatives are becoming more open to the idea of a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, though not necessarily the "special' pathway being pushed by Democrats, Fox News Latino reports.
"There should be a pathway to citizenship — not a special pathway and not no pathway," Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, said to ABC 4 Utah following a recent town hall meeting. "But there has to be a legal, lawful way to go through this process that works, and right now it doesn't."
Many Republicans still reject any path to citizenship for people here illegally, since a large number of legal immigrants still await citizenship. Others feel illegal immigrants should be given legal status, but not full citizenship. Democrats oppose that idea.
"We think a legal status in the United States, but not a special pathway to citizenship, might be appropriate," Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., told a recent town hall meeting.
Goodlatte suggested that illegal immigrants could then use existing methods to seek citizenship, such as through family or their jobs.
Goodlatte and other Republicans say many immigrants would be happy with legalization alone. A Pew Hispanic Center study last February showed that 40 percent of those eligible to become citizens had not tried to do so.
The Senate passed an immigration bill this summer, but the House has yet to take action.
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