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.

ADVERTISEMENT

The bipartisan group of eight senators, known as the Gang of Eight, introduced S. 744, which 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.

"This bill will make our country safer, and I believe it will make our country stronger," Sen. Chris CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsVoting rights, public health officials roll out guidelines to protect voters from COVID-19 The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - US virus deaths exceed 100,000; Pelosi pulls FISA bill Warren's VP bid faces obstacle: Her state's Republican governor 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 GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyExpanding tax credit for businesses retaining workers gains bipartisan support Grassley, Leahy urge Roberts to permanently air Supreme Court arguments Democrats broaden probe into firing of State Department watchdog 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 Antonio RubioSchumer to GOP: Cancel 'conspiracy hearings' on origins of Russia probe Trump administration designates B of PPP funds for community lenders The Memo: Trump's Scarborough tweets unsettle his allies MORE (R-Fla.), John McCainJohn Sidney McCainHow Obama just endorsed Trump Former Texas Rep. Sam Johnson dies at 89 Trump's needless nastiness and cruelty will catch up with him MORE (R-Ariz.), Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSchumer to GOP: Cancel 'conspiracy hearings' on origins of Russia probe Graham announces hearing on police use of force after George Floyd killing In a new cold war with China, America may need to befriend Russia MORE (R-S.C.), Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane Flake'Never Trump' Republicans: Fringe, or force to be reckoned with? The Memo: Can the Never Trumpers succeed? Former GOP Sen. Jeff Flake says he will not vote for Trump MORE (R-Ariz.), Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerFederal judges should be allowed to be Federalist Society members Warren condemns 'horrific' Trump tweet on Minneapolis protests, other senators chime in VA hospitals mostly drop hydroxychloroquine as coronavirus treatment MORE (D-N.Y.), Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinFrustration builds in key committee ahead of Graham subpoena vote  Senate Democrat introduces bill to protect food supply Democratic unity starts to crack in coronavirus liability reform fight MORE (D-Ill.), Robert MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezGovernment watchdog: 'No evidence' Pompeo violated Hatch Act with Kansas trips No time to be selling arms to the Philippines Senate panel approves Trump nominee under investigation MORE (D-N.J.) and Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetWarren condemns 'horrific' Trump tweet on Minneapolis protests, other senators chime in Senate Democrat introduces bill to protect food supply Congress headed toward unemployment showdown MORE (D-Colo.) comprise the Gang of Eight.