Rand Paul seeks to strip path to citizenship

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) listens during a news conference with other Senate Republicans to announce a proposed balanced budget amendment to the Constitution in the U.S. Capitol on March 31, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images) Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.)  during a news conference with other Senate Republicans  in 2011 in Washington. (Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.)  introduced an amendment Thursday to the Senate immigration bill that would effectively strip the bill's path to citizenship and require illegal immigrants to apply through regular channels.

The "No New Pathway to Citizenship Act" amendment would allow illegal immigrants to remain in the United States as Registered Provisional Immigrants — a new work visa category — but force them to apply as though they were still in their home country.

These immigrants would not have any advantage over those seeking to immigrate to the United States from outside the country, according to Paul's office.

Paul is an important voice in the immigration debate, having said that he would like to support the legislation but insisting on certain provisions. The potential 2016 presidential candidate has introduced three other amendments.

It was reported a few months ago that he endorsed a new path to citizenship. He soon clarified that he believed the existing path to citizenship was sufficient but that he would allow the immigrants to remain in the United States as they applied.

The amendment proposed Thursday effectively codifies that proposal.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.
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