Rep. Stewart: Grant Immigrants Legal Status, but Ban Citizenship

Friday, 14 Jun 2013 02:03 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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Rep. Chris Stewart says Congress should grant legal status to undocumented immigrants, but ban them from citizenship and the right to vote, the Salt Lake Tribune reports.

"It is actually a deal breaker for me," the Utah Republican told told the newspaper.

"I want to bring these folks out of the shadows. I want to give them every benefit of legal status, but I think if you come here illegally — knowingly done that — then there should be some price paid for that."

He says his position has serious support among House Republicans. The Tribune reports that a Pew Research Center poll conducted last month found about 25 percent of respondents agree with Stewart. Another 25 percent say they should not be granted legal status. Some 44 percent, according to the poll, said immigrants should be able to apply for citizenship.

Stewart's views show there is more work to be done on the so-called "Gang of Eight" bipartisan immigration plan now being considered in the Senate.

The bill would give most illegal immigrants temporary legal status. It would then take at least 13 years for them to become full-fledged citizens, depending on their ability to speak English and to maintain a clean record.

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