Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who helped write the immigration bill proposed by the Gang of Eight, said that the new proposal “practically militarize[s] the border” during a debate with Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah.
“[W]e practically militarized the border,” Graham said on Fox News Sunday this morning, citing the Corker-Hoeven amendment. “This whole border security amendment, I think, is the most aggressive attempt to control the southern border and regain our sovereignty.”
Washington Examiner‘s Byron York reported on the broad details of the new amendment last week.
“The Hoeven and Corker amendment would call for the number of agents to be essentially doubled, to about 40,000 from its current force of 20,000,” Byron wrote. “The plan would also include what the aide calls ‘a whole gaggle’ of border security infrastructure — infrared sensors, drones, and other high-tech devices, which the aide says would be ‘enough to give situational awareness along the whole border.’” (More on the amendment here.)
Lee rejects the “first comes the legalization” aspect of the bill. “[W]e have to look to the fact that the pathway to citizenship begins basically on day one,” he said. “But it will take many, many years, if not decades to fully implement all these border security measures.”
Washington Examiner’s Conn Carroll argues that the amendment, like the broader Gang of Eight propsal (a.k.a. Schumer-Rubio), fails to secure the border but nonetheless provides a pathway to citizenship:
Not only will Schumer-Rubio leave 3.5 million illegal immigrants in the United States without any legalization, let alone citizenship, but it also completely fails to end future flows of illegal immigration. According to the CBO, Schumer-Rubio will only decrease annual illegal immigration by about 25 percent. And adding even a million border patrol agents won’t help either, because the CBO says these illegal immigrants will almost all have entered the country legally. “Unauthorized residents would find it harder both to enter the country and to find employment while unauthorized,” the CBO wrote. “However, other aspects of the bill would probably increase the number of unauthorized residents—in particular, people overstaying their visas issued under the new programs for temporary workers.”