The Dunn Republican is making immigration overhaul a top priority even as it becomes a flashpoint in her re-election campaign and the prospect of a deal appears to fade on Capitol Hill.
“If I can do anything in Washington, I’d like to solve this problem,” the second-term lawmaker told a forum of immigration advocates in Cary.
Ellmers offered a broad outline of a plan that puts the emphasis foremost on securing the nation’s borders, while also including legal status for the roughly 11 million people living in the United States illegally.
It is not the equivalent of citizenship, Ellmers cautioned, but a lesser status that she did not define. To gain legal status, she said, immigrants would have to verify their identity, pay a penalty and admit wrongdoing.