Fox News' Sean Hannity told his radio listeners Thursday that he's "evolved" on immigration and thinks undocumented immigrants without criminal records should have a "pathway to citizenship."
Noting that Hispanic voters overwhelmingly backed President Obama in Tuesday's election (as the white vote declined), Hannity said that the Republican party could only compete for Latino voters if they took immigration off the table.
"We;ve got to get rid of the immigration issue altogether," he said. “It’s simple to me to fix it. I think you control the border first. You create a pathway for those people that are here. You don’t say you’ve got to go home. And that is a position that I’ve evolved on. Because, you know what, it’s got to be resolved. The majority of people here, if some people have criminal records you can send them home, but if people are here, law-abiding, participating for years, their kids are born here, you know, it's first secure the border, pathway to citizenship, done, whatever little penalties you want to put in there, if you want, and it's done.”
Hannity is a pundit, not a politician, but for such a high-profile conservative it's a notable shift. A pathway to citizenship for all law-abiding undocumented immigrants goes beyond the DREAM Act opposed by most Republicans.
"Monkeys evolved into humans. Hannity has evolved on immigration," tweeted Ana Navarro, a Republican consultant who has often criticized her party on the issue. "Keeping hope alive."