GOP senators offer alternative immigration enforcement reforms

“I’m afraid we’ll have a deal like in 1986 where the amnesty provisions become law and the enforcement doesn’t occur,” Sessions said Wednesday on the Senate floor. “We don’t have the kind of commitment to law enforcement at this point that gives the American people the confidence that we’re moving on the right path. So this is no sure thing.”

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Sessions said that just because some “big names” are part of the group of eight senators committed to working on immigration reform, doesn’t mean that would be enough to get other Republican to go along.

Vitter said that illegal immigration have quadrupled since Congress last passed comprehensive immigration reform in 1986 that provided a form of amnesty. He said he would introduce six bills Wednesday that would help address illegal immigration enforcement first and then lawmakers can try to deal with those already illegally in the country later.

“We propose a different path forward, a targeted step-by-step approach,” Vitter said.

Vitter’s bills include reforms to the e-verify system, child tax credits, ending appropriations to “sanctuary cities” and even changing the requirements of U.S. citizenship. Currently, a baby simply needs to be born in the United States to become a citizen, but Vitter said one of his bills would require that at least one parent be a U.S. citizen.

Sessions said that if lawmakers don’t support Vitter’s proposed legislation then they aren’t “serious about dealing with the lawlessness” in the U.S. immigration system.

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