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GOP donors, in letter, urge Congress to back immigration overhaul

July 30, 2013 at 4:04 PM

WASHINGTON, July 30 (UPI) -- Prominent Republican Party donors sent a letter to congressional Republicans Tuesday urging them to support of an overhaul of immigration laws.

More than 100 donors -- including Karl Rove, deputy chief of staff in the administration of President George W. Bush; former U.S. Vice President Dan Quayle; Tom Stemberg, a founder of the Staples retain chain, and Frank VanderSloot, founder of Melaleuca Inc. -- signed the letter, calling for "legal status" for the 11 million immigrants in the United States illegally, The New York Times reported.

The letter argues a refusal to change the immigration law system amounts to "de facto amnesty," and outlined three steps the signers say are integral to reform -- securing the border, providing a legal means for U.S. employers to hire those in the country illegally, and provision for a path to legal status for undocumented immigrants.

VanderSloot, interviewed by telephone, said he believed some Republican holdouts in Congress could support a path to citizenship as long as no special treatment is involved.

"I think most Republicans are on board with a path, but they (members of Congress) don't want them (illegal immigrants) to go to the front of the line. There should not be a reward for breaking the law," he said.

The letter arrives as immigration reform proponents fear momentum has stalled following Senate passage in June of a bipartisan overhaul bill, the Washington newspaper The Hill reported.

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