“You can’t have open borders in a welfare state. We’ve got a pretty significant welfare state, so it’s not just about normalizing the 11 or 12 million here, it’s whether or not while you’re doing that another 11 or 12 million come in, and I think that will bankrupt the country,” Paul said. “So I am concerned, but I’m also open-minded enough to say that it is an issue that we do need to evolve on. But I’m not willing to be so much in adapting that I believe you allow people to come in without having a secure border and…letting people get to the front of the line.”

Paul’s twin concerns – a secure border and an exhaustive path to citizenship that doesn’t allow illegal immigrants to leap-frog those who have already applied to come here legally – are the foundation of the argument Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) has pitched to allay the concerns of skeptical conservatives. …

Paul on Wednesday took that idea further, proposing a yearly review of border security, so that if certain metrics are not met, Congress could vote to suspend the “normalization” process. Paul said this was necessary because in the past Republicans have traded amnesty for border security, but never received what they asked for.