Texas Rep. Pete Sessions told a town hall meeting last year that he does not oppose allowing illegal aliens who do not have a criminal history and are in the country for the "right reason" to stay in America, Breitbart News reported.
Sessions, who is being challenged by tea party aligned candidate Katrina Pierson, is seen on video as saying that the House had designed a system "that would accommodate millions of people who are here for the right reasons, millions of people who today may be illegal — illegally here — but who would be handled fairly under a process."
He also said that no one with a history of having committed a serious crime should be permitted to stay. "We got to worry about trying to define these things and trying to separate" – criminal behavior from being in the country legally.
He said that the vast majority of illegal immigrants would be welcomed.
Sessions does not see this stance as supporting amnesty, according to Breitbart.
The Dallas Morning News reported
after a meeting with its editorial board that Sessions backed "a guest worker program under which those in the country illegally could keep their jobs and pay taxes but not obtain citizenship."
Breitbart's Matthew Boyle took Sessions to task for his "de facto" endorsement of the House GOP leadership's position on immigration reform.
Sessions campaign spokesman Bruce Harvie told Breitbart that the congressman is "absolutely opposed to amnesty" and that "everyone with legal status isn't necessarily a permanent resident. " He said that holding a work or seasonal visa did not guarantee future legal status or citizenship.
Pierson is a "fierce fighter against amnesty," according to Breitbart. She said, "Pete Sessions has admitted, on camera, that he supports legalizing millions of illegals."
"That's amnesty, whatever euphemism Sessions wants to apply to it," Pierson said.
Pierson was recently endorsed by Sarah Palin
as "an emerging leader and important voice for the future of the grassroots conservative movement."
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