Barr opposes key part of GOP immigration blueprint

Congressional hopeful Bob Barr has come out against a key part of the immigration blueprint House Republican leaders presented to their caucus Thursday: a pathway to citizenship for immigrants living illegally in the U.S.

“I continue to oppose any legislation that directly or indirectly provides a path to citizenship for illegal aliens,” the former Libertarian presidential candidate said in a statement released Friday.

“The first priority in any consideration of immigration legislation must be to secure the border. This is a matter of national security, and is a responsibility of the federal government under our Constitution. Pursuant to such authority, we have laws on the books that set forth the procedures whereby immigrants may become citizens; this is the only appropriate pathway to citizenship.”

Barr is competing against several candidates in the Republican primary to replace U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey in Georgia's 11th congressional district. Barr is scheduled to appear at a fundraiser next month with Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a lightning rod in the debate over immigration enforcement. Nicknamed "America's Toughest Sheriff," Arpaio's aggressive tactics for cracking down on illegal immigration have won him praise and criticism from across the country.