WASHINGTON (AP) - The Republican National Committee is formally giving its support to immigration reform -- despite strong objections from some conservative leaders.
The move comes as the party makes plans for a $10 million outreach effort to minority groups -- including gay voters. It's part of an effort to make the GOP more "welcoming and inclusive" for minority voters who overwhelmingly backed Democrats last year.
In a report released today, the RNC says focus groups perceive Republicans as "narrow minded," ''out of touch" and "stuffy old men." Party chairman Reince Priebus (ryns PREE'-bus) says the perception of the GOP as "the party of the rich" is still growing.
Priebus is acknowledging that there's a tough road ahead for some immigration reform proposals in the Republican Party. He's refusing to say whether the "comprehensive immigration reform" that's being recommended by party leaders should include a pathway to citizenship.
Some Republicans, including Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, are working toward a reform plan that is likely to include a way for illegal immigrants to become citizens.
But conservative commentator Ann Coulter told a conservative gathering over the weekend that if illegal immigrants are given "amnesty," then "no Republican will ever win another national election."