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Carlos Curbelo creates leadership PAC to benefit pro-immigration reform Republicans


As a Republican representing Democrat-rich South Florida, Carlos Curbelo has no trouble supporting comprehensive immigration reform in Congress.

But that's a far more difficult position for some of his colleagues who fear conservative primary challengers to take.

So Curbelo has opened a new political action committee to raise money for those Republicans who might need some financial support for taking a moderate immigration tack. The committee, registered Jan. 14 with the Federal Election Commission, has been christened "What a Country!" (Yes, the initials come out to WAC PAC.)

"What a Country recognizes that the United States is the land of opportunity, where anyone who comes here and works hard and plays by the rules can get ahead," Curbelo told the Miami Herald. "It will support candidates who understand the importance of overhauling our nation's immigration laws to secure our borders, promote legal immigration and reward those who contribute to our economy."

He declined to name names, but Curbelo said potential beneficiaries could be Republicans who, like him, "voted against punishing people who were brought to this country as children and who are de facto Americans."

He was referring to a House vote earlier this month to end President Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, which granted legal status to immigrants who had been brought into the country illegally as children.

Curbelo was one of 26 Republicans to vote against the legislative amendment, along with Miami Republicans Mario Diaz-Balart and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.