Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) responded Thursday to critics on the right who say the immigration reform he supports will be catastrophic to the Republican Party and, more importantly, the country.

“I’ve got a news flash for those who want to call people names on amnesty: What we have now is de facto amnesty,” he said during an appearance on Fox News.

Sen. Paul’s comments were prompted by Fox anchor Bill Hemmer saying said that the Republican senator’s immigration speech on Tuesday has made him a “ripe target” for conservative critics, including Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter.

“People like Coulter and Limbaugh say people like you are being suckered into an agreement here,” Hemmer said. “What they argue is that conservative principles should not be sacrificed here, it’s that the Republican message has been lost in the process. What would you say to that?”

“We have 11 million people here. They’ve been here, some of them, for a decade or more. No one is telling them to go home, no one’s sending them home,” Sen. Paul responded.

The senator continued, explaining his reform proposals in detail. From there, he turned his attention to Coulter who has repeatedly said that Republicans will never win another election if they embrace amnesty.

“If amnesty goes through, America becomes California and no Republican will ever win another national election,” Coulter said last week at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

Paul responded: “Here’s another news flash: We haven’t been too competitive in the last two national elections.”

Watch the entire discussion here:

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(H/T: Mediaite, Eddie Scarry). Featured image Getty Images.