Later Tuesday, the Senate will vote on whether to proceed to the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act. Cornyn said he would support that motion, but hopes changes are made to the bill.
"This bill will make our country safer, and I believe it will make our country stronger," Sen. Chris CoonsChris CoonsElection-year politics: Senate Dems shun GOP vulnerables Overnight Healthcare: McConnell unveils new Zika package | Manchin defends daughter on EpiPens | Bill includes M for opioid crisis Dems to GOP: Help us fix ObamaCare MORE (D-Del.) said after Cornyn spoke Tuesday. "[And] it strikes the right balance of those who are here undocumented to come out of the shadows."
Some Republicans have complained that the legislation would provide amnesty over 10 years for the nearly 11 million residents in the country illegally before strengthening border enforcement.
The bill makes permanent legal residence contingent the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) having 100 percent situational awareness at every segment of the southern border and a 90 percent apprehension rate. Cornyn said he has an amendment — the Results amendment — that agrees with the Gang of Eight border security standards, but would guarantee the standards are met before amnesty is granted to anyone.
“I wonder why it is that they can’t take yes for an answer. If we agree on the standards they set, why won’t they agree to measures of implementation to meet those standards set?” Cornyn said. “We agree on all of these realistic goals. The difference again is my amendment guarantees results, while the Gang of Eight’s does not.”
Some GOP senators have suggested that the bill gives DHS too much say over whether the border is secure, leaving Congress powerless to stop the amnesty program if security measures aren’t met.
Sens. Cornyn and Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyMcConnell blames dysfunction on Dems Four states sue to stop internet transition Senate passes bill to preserve sexual assault kits MORE (R-Iowa) have said the bill is similar to the last immigration reform measure in 1986 because it “legalizes first and enforces later.”
“In other words the federal government has always said the right things to the American people, but it has never lived up to its promises,” Cornyn said. “This is doable, but we need a leverage to compel the bureaucracy and Congress to get the result the American people want.”
Sens. Marco RubioMarco RubioWar over the estate tax returns Clinton’s strategy: Get under Trump’s skin Rubio, Heck help out at car crash scene MORE (R-Fla.), John McCainJohn McCainGOP lawmakers slam secret agreement to help lift Iran bank sanctions Kerry: US 'on the verge' of suspending talks with Russia on Syria Trump, Clinton to headline Al Smith dinner MORE (R-Ariz.), Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamKerry: US 'on the verge' of suspending talks with Russia on Syria GOP leaders express reservations a day after 9/11 veto override McConnell opens door to changing 9/11 bill MORE (R-S.C.), Jeff FlakeJeff FlakeOvernight Finance: Lawmakers float criminal charges for Wells Fargo chief | Scrutiny on Trump's Cuba dealings | Ryan warns of recession if no tax reform GOP senators press Treasury to withdraw estate tax proposal Obama defeat is Schumer victory MORE (R-Ariz.), Charles SchumerCharles SchumerElection-year politics: Senate Dems shun GOP vulnerables Democrats press Wells Fargo CEO for more answers on scandal 78 lawmakers vote to sustain Obama veto MORE (D-N.Y.), Dick DurbinDick DurbinRetailers have jumped the shark Dems gain upper hand on budget McConnell: Senate could drop flood money from spending bill MORE (D-Ill.), Robert MenendezRobert MenendezDemocrats press Wells Fargo CEO for more answers on scandal Dem senator: Louisiana Republican 'found Jesus' on flood funding Taiwan and ICAO: this is the time MORE (D-N.J.) and Michael BennetMichael BennetEconomists have a message: Clinton's policies are wrong for America Senate rivals gear up for debates Grassley pulling away from Dem challenger MORE (D-Colo.) comprise the Gang of Eight.