WASHINGTON - A national tea party leader is endorsing immigration overhaul legislation including legal status for the 11.5 million people now here illegally.
Sal Russo, a co-founder of Tea Party Express, makes the comments in an opinion piece in Roll Call, a Capitol Hill newspaper.
He writes that conservatives should be at the forefront of immigration legislation to ensure it doesn't just reflect the interests of, in his words, "liberal do-gooder reformers."
Russo's comments are notable because although many establishment Republicans have backed action on immigration, while many conservatives and tea partyers have been opposed.
That opposition has stalled immigration legislation in the GOP-led House 11 months after the Senate passed a far-ranging bill.
Russo calls on the House to act and says those here illegally must get "right by the law."