Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., spoke at the 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md., last Thursday. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Manuel Balce Ceneta

WASHINGTON — Republican U.S. Sen. Rand Paul is endorsing a path to citizenship for the nation’s illegal immigrants, a significant move for a favorite of tea party Republicans who are often seen as hostile to such an approach.

Paul’s path to citizenship comes with conditions that could make it lengthy and difficult for illegal immigrants to travel, according to a speech he was to deliver Tuesday morning to the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Among the conditions, Congress would have to agree first that progress has been 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.

Read more in Tuesday’s Arizona Daily Star and at