McConnell: I Remain Eager To Improve Our Immigration, Security Policy
‘If a solution is developed in the future that can pass both the House and the Senate and be signed into law by the president, it should be considered. But for that to happen, Democrats will need to take a second look at these core elements of necessary reform.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor following today’s votes on immigration and border security:
“I think it’s safe to say this has been a disappointing week. I kept my commitment and set aside the entire week for a broad, productive debate over DACA, border security, and other important immigration issues. Everyone -- my friend the Democratic Leader, the Assistant Democratic Leader, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus -- everyone agrees that I have held up my end of the bargain.
“Back in December, I stated that if a bill that stood a chance of becoming law were ready in January, I would bring it to the floor. But no such proposal was produced. Then, in January, when Democrats shut down the government over this issue, I offered to dedicate this week to an immigration debate and a fair amendment process. And I did just that.
“But these same Democrats failed to produce a solution, and instead spent the better part of the week objecting to any votes in the Senate. I thought we might be able to resolve this. I was hoping we could reach a bipartisan solution that could pass the Senate, pass the House, and earn President Trump’s signature. But once again, when the hour came to actually make law instead of just making political points, my friends across the aisle were either unable or unwilling to get something done. After all that talk, they hardly came to the table at all.
“I supported the plan introduced by Chairman Grassley and several other co-sponsors. It fleshed out the president’s framework, pairing a more than generous solution for 1.8 million illegal immigrants with commonsense steps to reform legal immigration, secure the border, and help law enforcement keep Americans safe.
“The president came, in my view, more than halfway to meet Democrats on this issue. In exchange for a pathway to citizenship -- not just legal status -- for nearly 2 million individuals, he sensibly wanted to reform pieces of our broken immigration system, secure our border, and make it harder for violent criminals and repeat offenders to prey on American citizens.
“This is more than a fair bargain. I thought my friends across the aisle would jump at this opportunity to fulfill what they say is their top priority. But they just could not take ‘yes’ for an answer. They turned away from a golden opportunity to solve this issue. They decided they’d rather come away empty handed, with no resolution whatsoever for the 1.8 million individuals they say they are championing, than accept a reasonable compromise with the president.
“Now, even though this week has been squandered, this does not have to be the end of our efforts to resolve these matters. I encourage members to put away the talking points and get serious about finding a solution that can actually become law. I remain eager to improve our immigration policy.
“If a solution is developed in the future that can pass both the House and the Senate and be signed into law by the president, it should be considered. But for that to happen, Democrats will need to take a second look at these core elements of necessary reform.”
Related Issues: Immigration, Homeland Security