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House leader says GOP immigration plan may call for legal status

Jan. 22, 2014 at 3:06 PM

WASHINGTON, Jan. 22 (UPI) -- A top U.S. House Republican says a GOP immigration reform plan will likely call for legal status but no path to citizenship for those in the country illegally.

Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy of California, the third-ranking Republican in the House of Representatives, said in an interview he supports granting legal status, but not a path to citizenship, for the estimated 11 million undocumented workers in the United States, The Hill reported Wednesday.

McCarthy -- whose district includes a relatively large Latino population -- told KBAK/KBFX-TV, Bakersfield, that view is likely to be reflected in a proposal yet to be drawn up by House GOP leaders.

"The principles aren't written yet, but in my personal belief, I think it'll go with legal status that will allow you to work and pay taxes," he said.

House GOP leaders might announce the principles prior to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address next week, or at a House Republican Conference gathering in Maryland after the president's address, The Hill said.

Immigration advocates have said challenging McCarthy's re-election will be a top priority in this year's elections.

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