Cornyn announces companion bill to immigration reform, addressing border security

“This is not an alternative to fixing our broken immigration system,” Cornyn said on the Senate floor Tuesday. “It is complimentary to the work by the Gang of Eight.”

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The bipartisan group of eight senators unveiled a framework for immigration reform in January and has since been negotiating the details of a plan that would create a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants already in the country, toughen border security, create a guest worker program and boost high-skilled immigration. The group is expected to release its reform package as soon as Thursday.

Cornyn said that the DHS detained 360,000 people trying to cross the border illegally last year alone, adding that the number of people who likely weren’t caught is at least the same.

“Since 2010, the administration has failed to provide a metric for determining border security, yet they continue to claim that the border is secure,” Cornyn said. “By requiring the administration to come up with a clear measurement of security, as well as a timeline for development and implementation, we can ensure that our national security policy is based on real results, and not baseless claims.”

Cornyn said that before the Gang of Eight’s immigration reform package can work, the border has to be more secure, otherwise the American public won’t be “confident” that the immigration package can fix the broken system. 

Reps. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) and Candice Miller (R-Mich.) are introducing a companion bill to Cornyn's in the House.