Some estimates have said the Senate amnesty plan will allow more than 66 million immigrants into the United States and cost $100 billion.
I have proposed my own bipartisan border security first bill that would strengthen US borders by increasing border patrol agents, increasing detention facilities for those caught crossing the border illegally, adding court resources, building a border barrier, and cracking down on employers who knowingly hire illegal workers.
Senator Jeff Sessions (AL) and I offered a border security amendment to the Senate's amnesty proposal that authorized hundreds of miles of border barriers to be built at key crossing points under the direction of the Secretary of Homeland Security. That amendment was adopted overwhelmingly, by a vote of 83-16, proving the overwhelming support for border security.
I voted against the final bill because its inclusion of amnesty proposals and other differences with the House's border security bill threaten the possibility of passing meaningful border security measures this year. The House bill also contains provisions that concern me, such as making all illegal immigrants in this country felons.
If we are to do anything to get a handle on the severity of the illegal immigration problem, we need to secure our borders first.
I don't know why some insist on a do everything amnesty bill that will ultimately fail and end up doing nothing about border security. If we passed a border security first bill, we could merge it with the less egregious provisions of the House version and actually get something done to strengthen our borders.