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Story highlights

Carly Fiorina says that a Republican Party loyalty pledge is "unenforceable"

Fiorina says she supports a pathway to legal status for immigrants, but not citizenship

(CNN) —  

Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina said Thursday that signing a Republican loyalty pledge is about “your word” but acknowledged the document is unenforceable.

The Republican National Committee has been circulating the pledge in recent days to discourage candidates – namely, Donald Trump – from launching an independent presidential bid.

“You’re right, it’s unenforceable. It is, more than anything else, your word,” Fiorina told CNN’s “New Day.”

But she added, “If you’re going to run as a Republican in a Republican primary, then you are declaring you’re a Republican. It’s not simply a run of convenience.”

The pledge is squarely aimed at Trump, the only top-tier Republican candidate who as of yet hasn’t ruled out a third-party run. He is expected to pledge his loyalty to the party at a news conference in New York later Thursday.

Fiorina also weighed in on immigration, an issue front and center in the GOP race thanks to Trump.

Asked about Trump’s call to deport the approximately 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S., she said the border should be secured first, then the legal immigration system should be fixed – but not every undocumented immigrant should be deported.

Instead, the U.S. must establish a clear path to legal status for undocumented immigrants, but not a pathway to citizenship, she said.

“There must be a consequence for breaking the law, they can earn a pathway to legal status, under certain circumstances, so that they can work, but citizenship is a privilege to be earned,” Fiorina said.