Rand Paul to call for GOP to embrace immigrants

February 12, 2013

In his tea party response to President Obama's State of the Union tonight, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) will call on Republicans to embrace immigrants.


Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) will speak tonight after the State of the Union. (AFP)

"We are the party that embraces hard work and ingenuity, therefore we must be the party that embraces the immigrant who wants to come to America for a better future," the senator will say. "We must be the party who sees immigrants as assets, not liabilities. We must be the party that says, 'If you want to work, if you want to become an American, we welcome you.'" 

Paul's response will inevitably be compared to the official rebuttal delivered by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). Rubio has been working on bipartisan immigration reform in the Senate, but he does not plan to discuss immigration reform in depth in his response. Paul has expressed some concerns about the bipartisan push, saying any legalization for undocumented immigrants should be dependent on border security.

“I won’t say anything on there that necessarily is like Marco Rubio is wrong,” Paul said on CNN Sunday. “You know, I don’t always agree, but the thing is this isn't about he and I."

Advance excerpts of Paul's remarks were first obtained by CNN. The excerpts also include a call to embrace the sequester — a trillion dollars in dramatic cuts to both domestic and defense spending. In fact, he says, we might need cuts of "at least $4 trillion."

Rachel Weiner covers local politics for The Washington Post.
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