Conservative columnist George Will on Sunday told Republicans that they should get behind immigration reform because "conservatism begins with facing facts."
During a panel segment on ABC's This Week, Will said that he understood immigration reform opponents -- like Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions (R) -- who think allowing a path to citizenship would be "rewarding lawbreaking."
"However, conservatism begins with facing facts," he explained. "The facts are that of the 11 million people who are here illegally, two-thirds have been here a decade of more; 30 percent, 15 years or more. They're woven into our society, they're not leaving and the American people would not tolerate the police measures necessary to extract them from our communities."
"Therefore, the great consensus has to be on the details of a path to citizenship," Will insisted, adding that "even if the system weren't broken, even if we had no illegal immigrants, we'd still need to do something about this because we need the workers as the baby boomers retire and as the birth rate declines, we need something to replenish the workforce to sustain the welfare state."
A study published last year in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science found that conservatives were more likely to contort facts to justify their beliefs.