Laura Meckler
The Wall Street Journal
January 30, 2014

Rep. Paul Ryan (R., Wis.), a leading GOP advocate for tackling immigration, confirmed Wednesday that Republicans are looking to give illegal immigrants legal status right away, with the chance for a green card — and citizenship — down the line.

Officials familiar with the planning had said as much before. But Mr. Ryan is the first member of the GOP leadership to lay out the Republican vision publicly.

At issue is how to handle more than 11 million people already in the U.S. illegally. Most House Republicans oppose the Senate approach, whereby all qualified illegal immigrants would first win legal status, then have the chance to apply for legal permanent residence (also known as a green card), and then for citizenship. House Republicans call that a “special path to citizenship” that is unavailable to those who followed the law.

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