(CNSNews.com) - "I think everyone needs to be for some form of immigration reform, because the status quo is untenable," Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) told NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday.
"So I consider myself a bridge to the conservative community, because I am about as conservative as they come -- maybe a little libertarian too. But I think that if we do nothing, 11 million more people may be coming illegally, so we have to do something."
Pointing to the dumping of 50,000 children at the nation's southern border, Paul said the problem is twofold: you have a beacon -- forgiveness; and you don't have a secure border," he said.
"I am for immigration reform, but I insist that you secure the border first because if you have a beacon of some kind of forgiveness without a secure border, the whole world will come."
Paul said his message to conservatives is, "Border security first, but then we should have something that allows people who want to work in our country who are here -- I say we will find a place for you if you want to work..."
Asked whether he back a "path to citizenship," Paul called it a "more difficult goal.
"What I would say at this point in time, I don't think any immigration reform will get out of Washington that includes a path to citizenship, but I do think that there is a path to a secure border and an expanded work visa program."