Immigration hardliners despair over GOP moves

Associated Press

DENVER (AP) — Republicans are inching toward a deal on immigration. But will they lose part of their base as a result?

Since last year's election, many top conservatives have distanced themselves from the idea that illegal immigrants must be removed from the country. Instead they're signaling a new openness to allowing people without authorization to be in the U.S. to eventually become citizens.

Election losses convinced many Republicans that their tough immigration stance turned off Hispanics and other fast-growing minority groups. But now the grass-roots activists who backed that hard-line position say the party is abandoning them. And they don't like it.

With a new immigration deal developing, activists are worried their numbers are shrinking and they may not be able to block the policy changes.

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