Count Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) as a supporter of House-passed Republican legislation to end President Barack Obama’s program to provide deportation relief for young people living in the U.S. illegally, often called Dreamers.
He said he believes the legislation would “go a long way” to mitigating the problem of thousands of Central American countries seeking refuse in the United States.
“I’m supportive of the House bill and I think it will go a long way to fixing the problem,” Paul told Breitbart.com, a conservative website. “But like everything else, nothing good has happened because Sen[ate Majority Leader Harry] Reid has decided that he’s not going to allow any votes on any bills this year because he’s protecting his members who are vulnerable in the election—he’s protecting them from any kind of votes. … This is a problem with a number of issues—there’s been almost no votes on any bills this year because they’re [the Democrats are] frankly afraid of letting their members vote in public.”
The two-part legislation would amend a 2008 law which prohibits U.S. officials from quickly sending home children at the border arriving from non-contiguous countries, and end the president’s 2012 “deferred action” program, or DACA, which grants deportation relief and work permits for certain young undocumented people living in the U.S. for years. It would also prohibit the executive branch from granting deferred action to others in the country illegally.
Paul’s position is notable because he has sought to strike a friendlier tone on the issue of immigration as he lays the groundwork for a potential 2016 presidential bid. The Kentucky senator voted against the Senate-passed immigration reform bill but has expressed support for some sort of pathway to legalization, though not necessarily with the promise of citizenship.
Paul joins several prominent Republicans in throwing his support for a Senate vote to end DACA, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Senate Budget Ranking Member Jeff Sessions (R-AL) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX).
There’s no indication that Reid will bring up the legislation for a Senate vote.