Paul’s drone filibuster was awesome, his Hagel vote and this, not so much.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky is endorsing a pathway to citizenship for the nation’s 11 million illegal immigrants, a significant move for a favorite of tea party Republicans who are sometimes hostile to such an approach.

In a speech to be delivered Tuesday morning to the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the potential 2016 presidential candidate declares, “If you wish to live and work in America, then we will find a place for you.” A copy of the speech was obtained in advance by The Associated Press.

Paul’s path to citizenship would come with conditions that could make it long and difficult for illegal immigrants. Chief among these, Congress would have to agree first that progress was being made on border security.

Nonetheless, Paul’s endorsement of allowing illegal immigrants an eventual way to become citizens puts him in line with a growing number of Republicans who are embracing action on immigration as a way to broaden the GOP’s appeal to Latinos. On Monday, a Republican National Committee report called on the GOP to support comprehensive reform, though without specifying whether it should include a pathway to citizenship, which is decried by some conservatives as amnesty.

Update: Rand Paul is calling for a “probation where those who came illegally become legal through a probationary period.” Not to split hairs but that does not endorse citizenship like the AP is claiming. Paul himself confirmed he is not offering illegals U.S. citizenship.

Update II: Ok, I’m officially confused.

(Washington Examiner) — Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., may have studiously avoided using the word “citizenship” in his speech to the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce but granting amnesty to the 11 million illegal immigrants currently in the country today is exactly the policy end game he is supporting. BuzzFeed‘s John Stanton reports, “When asked if his plan granting work visas to the 11 million undocumented workers in the country would mean they could, eventually, become citizens, Paul said yes.” […]

Worse, unlike the Gang of Ocho amnesty plan endorsed by Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Paul would force Republicans to play the role border-security-bad-guys every year. The Washington Examiner‘s Byron York reports, ” Under his proposal, the border would have to be verified secure by some government agency and then — this is a key step for Paul — voted on by Congress on a yearly basis.”

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