Senators announce 'major breakthrough' on immigration reform
Set of four bipartisan principles
- Duration 12:54
- Date Jan 28, 2013
Set of four bipartisan principles
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And we're here to announce today that the five of us here today.
And eight of us in total.
Including senators McCain -- Graham Menendez rubio flake and -- it.
Have come together on a set of bipartisan principles.
For comprehensive immigration reform legislation.
That we hope can pass the senate in overwhelming.
And bipartisan fashion.
We still have a long way to go.
But this bipartisan group -- sorry we still have a long way to go but this bipartisan blueprint is a major breakthrough.
It's our hope.
That these principles can be turned into legislation by march.
And have a marked up by chairman Leahy's committee.
With the goal of passage out of the senate by late spring or summer -- Senator Durbin and I spoke to the president yesterday to update him on this group's progress and he couldn't be more pleased.
He strongly supports this effort.
The key to our compromise.
Is to recognize that Americans overwhelmingly.
Oppose illegal immigration.
And support legal immigration.
To this end our framework contains four basic pillars.
First we create a tough but fair path to citizenship.
For illegal immigrants currently living in the United States that is contingent upon securing our borders.
Second we reform our legal immigration system to better recognize the importance of characteristics.
That will help build the -- American economy.
And strengthen American families.
Third we create an effective employment verification system that will prevent identity theft and end the hiring of future unauthorized workers.
We establish and improve process for admitting future workers to serve our nation's workforce needs while simultaneously.
Protecting all workers.
Other bipartisan groups of senators.
Have stood in the same spot before.
Trumpeting similar proposals.
But we believe.
This will be the year congress finally gets it done.
The politics on this issue have been turned upside down.
For the first time ever there's more political risk in opposing immigration reform.
And in supporting it.
We believe we have a window of opportunity to act but we will only succeed if the effort is bipartisan.
By their presence today my Republican colleagues are making a significant statement about the need to fix our broken immigration system.
We Democrats are equally serious.
We do not want immigration as a wedge issue.
Much rather we want a bipartisan bill that solves the problem.
And becomes law.
That in order to pass bipartisan legislation none of us can get everything we walked.
That's why our framework says we can address the status of people living here illegally.
While at the same time securing our borders and creating an immigration enforcement system that ensures we will not again -- front.
Another eleven million people coming here illegally.
On day one of -- the people here without status -- not criminals or security risks will be able to live and work here legally.
That'll make it easier for them to learn English and integrate into their communities.
Without fear of deportation.
But to prove to the American people that were seriously.
That we are serious about permanently ending illegal immigration to the US.
We say that we will never put these individuals on a path to citizenship.
Until we have fully secured our borders and combat at the pattern of people over -- their legal immigration visas.
We're asking our colleagues in the senate and the house to join us in this difficult work.
It's time to work together to pass legislation.
That improves our security grows our economy and ensures that we will continue to be a nation.
That lives up to the values of our founders.
I'm gonna turn it over to Senator McCain in -- minute.
I want to say he has been the glue in our group.
His wisdom his strength his courage.
And many other adjectives -- adults get at the moment.
Have really been inspiring to me and I think all of us and I want to just say.
Google -- And I -- and I want to say that every member of our group including senator Graham who couldn't be here today Senator McCain has a statement from them.
Have really been terrific in terms of understanding.
That we have to come to an agreement we have to meet in the middle that the mission of getting a bill done to strengthen America.
Is more important than any of us clinging to a specific belief.
And so I'm optimistic I'm truly optimistic more than I was when we had our first meeting in December that we can get this done.
And I really want to thank every one of the members here it is it's been so far -- only a part of the way -- their loads of pitfalls.
But it's been a great experience so far and I think one that gives all six of us great deal of optimism sentiment.
I'd like to thank senator Schumer for his leadership I'd like to thank.
They democratically -- to Dick Durbin.
There's not been anyone in America who has fought harder war.
The so called dreamers that and Dick Durbin has and he will continue to be.
Have the gratitude of many Americans my friend senator rubio who obviously is a new but incredibly important voice.
In this whole issue of immigration reform senator Menendez.
It's also played a key role and of course senator Graham who is uncharacteristically.
Absent from this.
It as a senator Schumer mentioned this a first step in what will continue to be difficult but achievable.
And I don't think I have to remind anyone the last major attempt was over six years ago.
Now we will again attempt to commit the remaining resources needed to secure the border.
Modernize and streamline our current immigration system.
And create a tough but fair.
Path to citizenship for those here illegally.
And I would like to testify again the security situation along the southwest border is not perfect.
There remain several areas particularly.
In Arizona where people's homes are being invaded.
-- drug smugglers are crossing property every night.
And the citizens deserve the same level.
Of security that all of us standing here half.
But there's no question there's been nation -- -- reduction.
In illegal crossings over the past five years.
Apprehension of illegal immigrants by the Border Patrol have dropped 70%.
But their work is not yet complete greater focus need to be paid for drug traffickers and criminals across the border.
Arizona continues to be a major smuggling corridor.
And distribution hub for drug trafficking organizations.
To combat this.
We need to continue to invest invest in high technology UAV's radar.
Other proven surveillance systems that will give the Border Patrol the ability to detect and apprehend.
Illegal intrusion into the United States -- achievable.
And can be completed within the next few years if we commit to it.
The next most important step to ensure we don't we -- repeat the mistakes of 1986.
Where we gave amnesty.
For three million people promised the border would be secure.
And now of course we are dealing with eleven million people here illegally.
So that has to have increased in fine son.
Employers that knowingly hire illegal workers.
We have to have employment verification system that will in the hiring in the future unauthorized.
We need to shut off via the magnet that tracks illegal workers.
We will put in place a legal worker program to provide humane and effective system.
That allows immigrant workers stay into the country without seeking the aid of human traffickers.
-- drug cartels.
Any immigration legislation that passes congress must establish practical legal channels for workers to inner.
The United States within their high skill low skill or agriculture workers -- we can free up federal officials.
To focus on those individuals truly intending.
To do our nation nation harm through drug smuggling.
People trafficking and possibly terrorism.
Providing expert it expedited path to citizenship for dreamers.
Developing a measurement to determine when the borders truly secure.
Reforming our future immigration system.
To better meet the needs of our employers ensuring an entry exit system.
To come back visa overstays.
And creating a program that -- certain US agriculture.
Has the necessary workers to maintain America's food supply.
Are some of the issues that we committed to addressing and solving in a bipartisan manner.
We come to the most controversial piece of immigration reform and that's how to deal.
With the approximately eleven million people living in the United States outside of legal status.
What's going on now is unacceptable.
What's been created -- -- de facto amnesty.
We have been too content for too long.
To allow individuals to more -- I'm sure of our food clean our homes.
And even watch our children.
While not affording them any of the benefits that make our country so great.
I think everyone agrees that it's not beneficial for our country.
To have these people here hidden in the shadows.
Let's create a system to bring them forward.
Allow them to settle -- debt to society.
And fulfill -- necessary requirements to become law abiding citizens of this country.
This is consistent.
With our country's tradition of being a nation of laws.
And a nation of immigrants.
I'd like to read senator -- -- grams brief statement.
He says I hope the third time's a charm I enjoyed working with my senate colleagues.
In drafting these principles and believe we are off to a good start.
The bipartisan immigration principles represent a real breakthrough on substance.
And I hope there will be -- -- a breakthrough in forming a political coalition to finally solved.
Our immigration problems the coalition must also include the present in the house representatives.
My hope -- immigration reform bill -- starred in the senator receive an overwhelming bipartisan vote.
For a long way from having legislative language but I do believe 2013.
Represents us the best chance to pass immigration reform in many years.
The time is right in the way forward while difficult.
Is being better defined by the day.
And with a reasonable amount of political give and take we will be successful.
However for some reason we fail and our efforts to pass comprehension immigration reform.
I do believe there will be many years before anyone is willing to try and solve this problem.
We should start this new attempt hopefully.
With full understanding of how difficult -- taxes.
They're trying to say again in the last couple of days we have been able to have a -- what was called the nuclear option in the United States senate.
Lot of people don't appreciate how important it -- for us to get that done.
A few months and I and others and Dick Durbin were involved in a bipartisan effort to avert that.
Thanks for their cooperation of our two leaders we were able to do that.
There is a desire for bipartisanship.
Here in this.
I think we can show the country in the world.
That we are capable of tackling machine and shoot if this issue.
A looming and terrible issue that has to be resolved.
In a bipartisan basis and I believe the majority of the American people support section effort and I want to -- a couple of weeks again.
And the ever congenial censorship and.