Rand Paul: "I'm actually for immigration reform" - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Rand Paul: "I'm actually for immigration reform"

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- U.S. Sen. Rand Paul said Tuesday he has a “great deal of sympathy” for illegal immigrants who were brought the United States as children. Yet, the Kentucky Republican said President Obama overstepped his authority two years ago when he decided, by executive order, to stop deporting them

“I actually could find a place for these ‘dreamer’ kids,” Paul told an audience of business people at Greater Louisville Inc.’s Capitol Connection luncheon at the Seelbach Hilton. “I’m actually for immigration reform. I could find a place to give work visas to those who want to stay and work, but it has to be done within the framework of law.”

Paul acknowledged that he voted against a comprehensive immigration reform bill in the Senate last year – saying, “I didn’t think it would work” – but he said lawmakers could advance a lot more bills if Obama and his Democratic allies narrowed the scope of legislation.

“If you want to let people stay in our country with PhDs and masters (degrees), almost everybody, Republican and Democrat, is for that,” Paul said. “That could be done tomorrow, but it is held hostage to a big bill.”

Paul, a potential candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, called Obama “affable but ineffectual.” The president has usurped much of Congress’ power by executive action, Paul said.

“You’ve got to try harder. It’s not easy to get people to agree. Democracy is messy. But you can’t just say ‘Because it’s messy, I am going to do whatever I want.’ That’s my real objection to this president.”

Paul’s speech was interrupted for applause once when he described his plan to designate west Louisville as well as other “high unemployment, high poverty” areas like Detroit and Appalachia as “economic freedom zones” where federal taxes such income, payroll and capital gains would be reduced to negligible amounts or to zero for 10 years.

“I think it would be an enormous stimulus,” he said. 

Paul sidestepped a question about whether he plans to run for president in 2016, but welcomed a couple of questions as to how he would handle issues if he were in the Oval Office.

“I like the supposition,” he said.

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