This is a provision few people have read and even
This weekend I had the opportunity to
debate immigration reform on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace.
Below you can find a link to the clip and highlighted excerpts from
Best of Intentions, but Not
LEE: �[T]he sponsors of this bill had the best of intentions.
In my opinion, the best intentions aren't enough when you�re dealing
with a 1,200-page bill.
�They promised us that under this
bill, illegal immigration would be a thing of the past. It won't. CBO
told us this week that 10 years from now, we'll still have 6
million to 8 million illegal immigrants in this country.
told us it would be tough but fair. It's neither. It's not tough on
those who broke the law and it�s not fair to those who�ve been patiently
waiting in line to come to this country legally.
perhaps, worst of all, Chris, we learned late Friday -- just
late Friday, that they are going to replace the "gang of eight�s"
bill, about a thousand pages, with a 1,200-page Corker-Hoeven
�This is a provision few people have read and even fewer
understand. So, look, we all want immigration reform. But this bill is
not the right vehicle for getting
The Proper Sequence
WALLACE: �Senator Lee, is
your problem that you don't think even with this $40 billion in extra
border enforcement, you still don't think it's going to work? Or is
your problem the sequencing, the idea that it's going to allow a
provisional legal status for the 11 million people, immigrants who are
already here before you get all of this border enforcement in
LEE: �As a proponent of immigration reform, my
problem has been sequencing and the fact that it's not a good idea to try to
attack the entire problem at once. That's how you end up with a
�And with the sequence of this bill in
particular, we have to look to the fact that the pathway to citizenship begins
basically on day one. But it will take many, many years, if not
decades to fully implement all these border security
WALLACE: �But, Senator Lee, Lindsey Graham says -- and I must
say, a lot of Democrats say -- that will kill the legislation. They�re
not going to accept border enforcement first and then a promise of
dealing with legalization of the 11 million people who were already here
LEE: �Well, that's what they have said. It's
what they want to be the case.
�The fact is, I think the
House of Representatives has it right. In any event, the House of
Representatives has said border security first. They are doing exactly the
right thing. They are dealing with it in the right
�The House Judiciary Committee passed out of committee this week, two
security measures -- two things to bring about robust immigration
reform in a step by step process. I think that's the approach we ought to
�What's making this contentious, what's making it
politically divisive is that the Senate "gang of eight" insisted on
wrapping the issues up into one 1,200-page bill. That�s what�s making
it divisive because they are putting the single most controversial,
confrontational issue -- that of amnesty and ultimate citizenship -- into
a 1,200-page bill.�
WALLACE: �Senator Lee, let me pick up
on what Senator Graham said to you. Mitt Romney got only 27 percent
of the Hispanic vote back in November, 50,000 new Hispanic citizens
become -- reach voting age every month in this country.
your party is seen as killing immigration reform, are you going to you
see that at the polls for decades to come?�
�Well, look, if we turn immigration reform into a political football,
everyone loses. We all know that. We�ve learned that from the past. We
don�t want to have to learn that in a hard way in the
�What the American people want is to make sure our border is secure and
they want to make sure that we fixed our legal immigration process,
especially before we legalize, much less grant citizenship to 11
million people, treating them all the same regardless of whether they
overstayed visas or crossed in illegally in the first place.
have to remember at the end of the day, that CBO told us early this
week that this will be bad for wages. It will be bad for unemployment.
This is not the right solution.�