Several tea party group leaders may be on the verge of offering support for immigration reform in a meeting Tuesday afternoon with Sen. Marco Rubio.
In a draft of their seven principles concerning immigration reform obtained by Politico
, the leaders make no demand for a prohibition against what they consider amnesty for illegal immigrants. That has been a longstanding position of grassroots conservatives.
Politico reports that the tea party officials are quietly accepting the bipartisan bill negotiated by Rubio and the other seven senators in the so-called "Gang of Eight," which will create a new path to citizenship for illegal immigrants. But the path, according to the draft principles, shouldn’t be used to expand social programs.
According to Politico, representatives from Tea Party Express, TheTeaParty.Net, Revive America, and Americans for Tax Reform's Grover Norquist are expected to be part of at least 25 grassroots conservatives meeting with the Florida Republican. All of them, including Norquist, support immigration reform.
Rubio and Norquist have been working to draw more conservative support for reform efforts.
Arizona GOP Sen. Jeff Flake, also a Gang of Eight member, told Politico he is doing the same.
"It seems to be a much better environment than we had in 2006 and 2007," he said, referring to the last immigration reform effort. "We’ll take support wherever we can get it."
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