CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Virginia Senators Joe Manchin and Jay Rockefeller said they support changes to the country's immigration system, while Rep. Nick Rahall said he would not support any changes that allow undocumented immigrants a path to legal citizenship.
Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito, a Republican, expressed a somewhat softer stance on amnesty for illegal immigrants, saying she would not support efforts to "provide a legal status to illegal immigrants that is not available to those who seek to enter our country legally."
Rockefeller said he supports efforts to prevent illegal immigration, improve border security and "establish an immigration system that benefits all Americans."
"That means developing solutions that strengthen our economy, protect jobs for American citizens, and enable immigrants who are making meaningful contributions an opportunity to continue to give back to their communities. Those are the American values that should be reflected in any new bill," he said in an emailed statement.
A bipartisan group of eight U.S. senators last week released a new plan for immigration reform that included creating a path to citizenship for the country's estimated 11 million illegal immigrants, along with provisions that would tighten border security.
Manchin said he is encouraged the bipartisan group came together to find a "commonsense solution" to problems with our "broken immigration system."
"However, I am waiting to review the details of the reform recommendations that were outlined this week as well as the president's proposal to see if this is something I can support," Manchin said.
Rockefeller also said he would keep an open mind and "review all proposals carefully and thoughtfully."
Congressman Nick Rahall took a hard stance against the Senate's "Group of Eight," however.