McConnell: Let’s Make Law, Not Political Points on Immigration, Border Security
‘Remember: Democrats wanted this debate. They shut down the federal government for 300 million Americans -- unnecessarily -- to guarantee we could have this debate at this time. They have spent months insisting DACA is a top priority for them, and telling their constituents they’d do everything they could to resolve it... They have yet to bring forward a single proposal that gives us a realistic chance to make law -- that is, pass the Senate, pass the House, and earn the president’s signature.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding the immigration and border security debate:
“This entire week has been set aside, as I assured it would be, for votes on the DACA issue, border security, and other issues pertaining to the subject of immigration. At this point, we should be wrapping up a lively week of debate, amendments, and numerous votes. But that’s not what happened. Instead, we’re here on Thursday morning, and we have yet to vote on a single amendment.
“Remember: Democrats wanted this debate. They shut down the federal government for 300 million Americans -- unnecessarily -- to guarantee we could have this debate at this time. They have spent months insisting DACA is a top priority for them, and telling their constituents they’d do everything they could to resolve it. But when the rubber meets the road? They have yet to bring forward a single proposal that gives us a realistic chance to make law -- that is, pass the Senate, pass the House, and earn the president’s signature.
“All they’ve done is slow the process as much as possible. It turns out they did not want a fair, open, freewheeling amendment process after all. Yesterday evening, I filed cloture on all four pending amendments. At a minimum, under regular order, we can make sure they at least receive a cloture vote by Friday morning. But I hope the Democratic Leader will finally consent to hold votes on these amendments today.
“My Democratic friends say they want resolution for illegal immigrants who were brought to this country as children. The president has put forward a framework that would do just that. His reasonable proposal offers a more than generous resolution to 1.8 million such individuals. But the DACA issue is just a symptom of our broken immigration system. So the president has made clear, and I strongly agree, that any legislation must also treat the root causes and reform legal immigration. And it must also include commonsense steps to ensure the safety of the American people.
“Several senators, led by Senator Grassley, have crafted legislation that accommodates the major interests of all sides. It fulfills the stated goal of our Democratic colleagues and conforms to the president’s requirements. Their bill provides funding to secure our border. It reforms extended family chain migration and the visa lottery program.
“It fixes the loophole that forces us to release thousands of criminal aliens who are rejected by their own home countries. Enacts ‘Kate’s Law’ to put criminals who repeatedly and illegally cross our borders behind bars. Gets tougher on violent and dangerous criminals such as drug smugglers, human traffickers, repeat drunk drivers, gang members, and sex offenders. And, yes -- it offers a generous resolution to the DACA issue.
“The president has gone out more than halfway to meet Democrats and resolve this matter. If they are actually interested in finding a solution, it is time they take ‘yes’ for an answer. Because my Democratic friends were stalling for time, they’ve spent three full days making political points instead of making law. I hope today can be different.”
Related Issues: Immigration, Homeland Security, Senate Democrats