OC Group Splits With GOP, Backs Legal Residency For Illegal Immigrants

SANTA ANA (CBS) — A group of Republican business leaders in Orange County broke ranks Friday with the mainstream GOP party line on immigration reform.

KNX 1070’s Ron Kilgore reports the three-point plan from the Lincoln Club of Orange County calls for a pathway to legal residency — but not citizenship — for illegal immigrants.

Founded in 1962, the Newport Beach-based Lincoln Club is a coalition of business leaders who support constitutional liberty, a limited central government, and lower tax rates.

The plan calls for increased border security, establishing a guest-worker program that would conditionally allow both foreign workers and illegal immigrants to apply for temporary work permits, and providing more tools for employers to more readily identify those workers who have been approved for the program.

The move will likely lure more Latino voters to vote Republican in what is expected to be a contentious election in 2012.

“Our hope is that this provides a starting point for Republicans and Latinos to find common ground on immigration solutions that respect the rule of law, secure our borders, and afford future immigrants and those who are already here a fair pathway to legal residency,” said Lincoln Club President Robert Loewen.

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