WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) spoke on the Senate floor to discuss his priorities in the Senate’s border security and immigration debate. In his remarks, Blunt emphasized the need to strengthen border security as part of any immigration legislation sent to the president’s desk. With surveys showing the majority of Americans support pairing DACA legislation with enhanced border security, Blunt urged his colleagues to find common ground
Following are excerpts from Blunt’s remarks:
“I have said for a long time that there are really three questions in the immigration debate that need to be answered, and one is how do we secure the border, and two is what are the legitimate workforce needs of the country, and three, what do we do with people who came or stayed illegally. As we think about securing the border, by the way, half the people who are in the country illegally came legally and just stayed. It's not all a border issue but it is significantly and partly a border issue. … Now, my view, Mr. President, has always been that if the government met its primary responsibility, which is an immigration system that works, that the American people would be very forward leaning about those other two issues.
“Legal immigration is what made America great. The rule of law is also what makes our country what it is, and you can't continue to let immigration be an area where we have decided there are laws that we will not enforce. … I continue to be committed to strengthening our boarders. I continue to be committed to stemming the tide of illegal immigration. Frankly, I continue to be committed to the idea of legal immigration as part of continually reinforcing and reenthusing who we are. But I'm also committed to finding a permanent solution for young people who would be in that category of kids who were brought here, grew up here, haven't gotten in trouble while they were here, and have every reason to want to be part of the American dream and part of the American people that they have been part of up until now. …
“I hope that the floor is filled over the next couple of days, with a vigorous debate about the best way to solve the problem before us in a way that the people we work for will feel good about it and the people who are most impacted by our decision will feel equally the concern, the warmth, the desire of our country to have a vibrant economy that has people who want to be part of it able to be part of it and particularly people who grew up in the United States of America be part of it.” on those two issues.