Republican money backs immigration push

As pressure builds on immigration, growing network of GOP donors push for path to legal status

Associated Press
Republican money backs immigration push
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FILE - In this July 11, 2008 file photo, Frank VanderSloot, who owns Melaleuca, Inc., a healthcare products company, is seen in Idaho Falls, Idaho. As Congress prepares to take on illegal immigration, an expanding network of Republican fundraisers is quietly, but aggressively, pressing for a pathway to legal status for millions of immigrants living in the United States illegally. Business leaders and major donors who raised tens of millions of dollars in the last election are meeting privately with Republican lawmakers _ and other top GOP fundraisers _ who may be reluctant to support what critics call “amnesty” for immigrants who broke the law. At the same time, a coalition of pro-reform fundraisers is funneling donations to a new crop of outside groups designed to protect like-minded congressional Republicans fearing backlash on a political issue that could alienate the GOP’s core conservative supporters. (AP Photo/John Miller, File)

BOSTON (AP) -- A growing network of Republican fundraisers wants to see the millions of immigrants living unlawfully in the United States granted a path toward legal status.

Business leaders and major donors who raised tens of millions of dollars in the last election are lobbying GOP lawmakers and other top donors for the change.

At the same time, a coalition of pro-immigration overhaul fundraisers is funneling donations to outside groups designed to protect like-minded congressional Republicans who fear a backlash from the GOP's core supporters.

These Republican donors are at odds with many on the GOP's right wing, including tea party activists, who say the priority should be increasing border security.

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